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North Korea-IAEA Held Unofficial Meeting

Posted February. 24, 2004 22:31,   


With the second round of the six-nation talks approaching on February 25, the goal of which is to solve the North Korea nuclear problem, a chain of positive forebodings suggesting the progress of the resolving of the nuclear problem has appeared.

Kyodo News, a Japanese news agency, reported that a councilor in charge of the nuclear problem and who is also part of the North Korean embassy in Vienna, Austria, met with the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA)’s inspector on February 24 and unofficially discussed a measure to resume the nuclear inspection that was abruptly suspended due to North Korea’s expulsion of the IAEA’s nuclear inspectors back in December 2002.

Quoting the remarks of the official, this news agency reported that there is a chance for North Korea to accept the resumption of the inspection of experimental atomic reactors established in Yongbyon in accordance with the result of the second round of the six-nation talks, and for IAEA’s side to require North Korea to return to following the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and also resumption of the IAEA inspection.

The news agency also added that North Korea has expressed their first phase of concrete movement toward the “categorical nuclear dismantlement.”

A U.S. State Department spokesperson disclosed on February 23 that the United States expects development in the working group organization in order for the categorical nuclear dismantlement and inspection in North Korea to materialize.

Six countries -- South and North Korea, the U.S., Japan, China, and Russia-- will hold the opening ceremony of the second round of six-nation talks in Beijing this Wednesday and set forth their own keynote speeches in advance of the diverse mutual meetings and working-level talks.

Earlier, on February 24, the Korean delegation, which arrived in Beijing at 8 p.m. that day, met with the North Korean delegation.

The Korean delegation also held a mutual talk with the Chinese delegation and participated in the dinner party presided by Dai Binguo, the deputy chief of trade department of the Foreign Ministry of China.