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Multilateral Talks on Hold

Posted July. 29, 2003 21:40,   


With efforts to hold trilateral talks to resolve the nuclear crisis over the Korean Peninsula being stalled, the United States announced on Monday EST that it was contacting U.N. Security Council members to put up the issue for consideration for the U.N. Security Council.

During the regular briefing on the same day, State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher said that the United States kept contacting U.N. Security Council members to determine how to handle North Korea`s nuclear problem. His comment contradicts the statement of Under Secretary of State John Bolton, who is now visiting China, that the crisis should be resolved peacefully.

“North Korea is not accepting our proposal for multilateral talks. We still believe it is important that the Security Council heed developments in North Korea,” said Boucher.

When asked if the “multilateral talks” effort had hit a deadlock, he replied that he did not believe the situation was in that condition. He stressed, “One thing clear for now is North Korea is not accepting multilateral talks which include South Korea and Japan.”

However, he reserved to make any comment on the development of the nuclear crisis, saying only that due to the unpredictability of the isolated regime, it was hard to tell what to expect and what not to. He added that the United States is closely monitoring all the latest developments.

A South Korean senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said yesterday, “China delivered, through the North Korean Embassy in Beijing, to Pyongyang the result of the official visit of Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo to Washington and the position of the Bush administration. For now, North Korea seems to be considering the proposals of the Bush administration.”

maypole@donga.com spear@donga.com