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China: “North Korea May Entirely Dismantle Nuclear Facilities”

China: “North Korea May Entirely Dismantle Nuclear Facilities”

Posted February. 23, 2004 22:36,   


The deputy foreign minister of China, Wang-ii disclosed on February 23 that a North Korean high-ranking official has passed on their intention to promise the full-scale dismantlement of their country’s nuclear related facilities at the second round of the Six-Nations Talks, which is scheduled to be held on February 25.

The Japanese news agency Kyodo News has reported that Aisawa Iichiro, who officially visited China on this day, has met with Wang. Wang remarked on this meeting that “North Korea has disclosed that they would freeze all nuclear activities for the first phase of dismantlement.”

China has decided that the range of “Categorical freezing of nuclear activity” should include a plan of nuclear concentration, and they will focus on their efforts towards the full-scale dismantlement of nuclear facilities at the second round talks, reported this news agency. In addition, Tokyo Shimbun has also reported that Wang remarked “inspection will also become possible.” But Wang regards the six nations’ pressure that forces North Korea to confirm their possession of nuclear facilities as a strategy that “cannot result in an efficient result,” and believes that the “categorical freezing of nuclear activity” has significant meaning as a first phase of the entire dismantlement of nuclear facilities.

In order to solve the North Korea nuclear problem, the government has decided to suggest a three-step solution, which allows, excluding North Korea, each of the other five participants of Six-Nation Talks to conduct tasks with North Korea, at the second round of Six-Nation Talks, which is to be held on February 25 in Beijing.

On the press conference held on February 23, the head of delegation to the Six-Nation Talks, Lee Su-hyuck, the assistant deputy of the Foreign Ministry, has remarked that “as for the first stage, we will suggest that North Korea should declare nuclear abandonment and the other five countries follow to guarantee their safety.”

·In accordance with this, Lee added that “Our delegation will also suggest three concrete measures to secure their safety.”

Lee has disclosed that the second step of nuclear dismantlement would become the “practical reward” of the five countries to North Korea, in case that North Korea destroys their nuclear facilities in a verifiable manner. He confirmed that the third step contains the post treatment when North Korea entirely destroys their nuclear substances, but has not cleared it up concretely.

This three-step solution has been materialized from the ideas, which the government suggested at the first round of Six-Nation Talks held in August, 2003.

On the other hand, Lee and the U.S. assistant deputy secretary of State, James Kelly, and the head of Asia-Pacific department of Japan’s Foreign Ministry, Yabunaka Mitoji, have met at the foreign ministry in Seoul on this day, nailing down the countermeasures.

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com