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U.S. Withholding Position on N.K. Until Kelly’s Return

U.S. Withholding Position on N.K. Until Kelly’s Return

Posted April. 27, 2003 22:47,   


The U.S. has yet to come up with follow-up measures two days after the three way talks in Beijing, where North Korea admitted possession of nuclear weapons.

The White House and Pentagon are withholding their position on the North issue, saying that “the Beijing talks were helpful”, though seeming to imply further discussion was needed.

Detailed U.S. follow-up measures may be made available when Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly, who headed the U.S. delegation, returns home, after visiting South Korea and Japan.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said on April 25 after the Beijing talks ended that the official U.S. stance on the North Korean nuclear issue will be disclosed after Assistant Secretary Kelly’s return.

Fleischer added that a thorough review of the implications and veracity of the North’s remarks at the talks was necessary before announcing the U.S. stance.

Concerning possible sanctions against the North, he explained that the U.S. hasn’t elaborated on its position but acknowledged the importance of coordination with allies on the issue.

“The North Korean nuclear threat will not work in the North’s favor nor make us succumb. We will not allow the North to do so,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. He explained that careful review of the Beijing talks would precede any future plan of the U.S.

Meanwhile, the U.S. made sure that it would not change its position that “nuclear weapons in the North will not be rewarded.”

Keen attention has been drawn on hawkish Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who mentioned possible regime change in the North, though implying that a close eye should be trained on the situation.

As for possible military action, he replied that he “hoped problems could be solved through diplomacy.”