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Divided Opinion within U.S Government over Non-Aggression Guarantee

Divided Opinion within U.S Government over Non-Aggression Guarantee

Posted July. 23, 2003 21:36,   


The White House said on July 22 the United States was considering holding a second round of three-way talks with North Korea, after which Japan and South Korea would join the discussions.

˝There are some discussions going on with China that involved discussion of possible trilateral talks that would immediately be followed by talks with Japan and South Korea included,˝ said White House Spokesman Scott McClellan.

˝We are discussing with China, Japan and South Korea about ways to dismantle North Korea`s nuclear program through discussions,˝ said McClellan, adding there was no agreement made so far concerning the form of multilateral talks.

The State Department and the White House, however, took different positions on non-aggression guarantee North Korea has demanded.

McClellan denied a report in The Washington Post that the United Sates is considering offering a formal guarantee that North Korea would not face a U.S. invasion, saying that the administration will not `give in to blackmail` or `grant inducements` to get North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, however, that the administration`s position on such a guarantee "still stands,"

˝The issue now is not whether the United States provides a piece of paper,˝ Boucher said. ˝The issue is whether North Korea stops developing nuclear weapons. And that`s where the focus has to be, and that`s where the focus is.˝

The State Department in the past had hinted at some sort of `formal assurances` for North Korea`s security, saying, ˝We do have plans to attack North Korea and we could provide a security guarantee by exchanging letters or official statments.˝

˝We want a permanent solution this time, this is irrevocable,˝ Secretary of State Colin Powell. ˝North Korea has to understand that there is no future in pursuing this type of technology, this kind of weapon. The United States will work closely with our friends and neighbors.˝

Meantime, Deputy Secretary of State John Bolton plans to visit China, Korea and Japan on July 27, 20 and August 1 respectively to discuss North Korea nuclear weapons crisis.