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Six-Way Talks Likely to Begin Soon

Posted October. 26, 2003 22:43,   


North Korea expressed on October 25 that it is willing to consider the “multilateral security assurance” plan proposed by U.S. President George W. Bush during the South Korea-U.S. summit on October 20 last week.

Replying to the inquiry from North Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korean Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman said, “President Bush recently suggested us (North Korea) a written assurance (guaranty) of non-aggression during the APEC summit in Thailand and asked for reopening the six-way talks.”

He added, “We are willing to take President Bush’s remark into consideration if it is on the basis of a co-existing strategy and seeks for a positive influence to realize an overall settlement based on the principle of simultaneous action.”

“Our position begins from a prospect that North Korea and the United States of America will be able to solidify the trust and the base of coexistence through solving the problems one by one under the rule of simultaneous actions,” the spokesman continued, adding, “North Korea has already delivered the message to a contact in New York and is currently in the middle, trying to confirm the United States’ true intention.”

However, drawing the line of mentioning the six-way talks, he said, “It is too early to talk about the summit for the time being because the U.S.’ intention to accept the principle of ‘simultaneous action’ has not been verified yet.”

“It is very encouraging for the peaceful solution for the North’s nuclear problem in the future, since North Korea announced its stance after the South Korea-U.S. summit,” said a government official regarding the North’s statement. “South Korea’s government will work closely with the involved nations in view of an early re-opening of the second round of six-way talks and concrete progress.”

Young-Sik Kim spear@donga.com