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Different Opinions on North Korean Nuclear Freezing Extent and Verification

Different Opinions on North Korean Nuclear Freezing Extent and Verification

Posted June. 25, 2004 22:13,   


North Korea and the U.S. were known to agree with each other on a principle of “North Korean nuclear abolishment for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula” and “freezing and verification as its first step” but disagree on the extent of freezing and the method of verification in the third six-way talks in Beijing, China on June 15.

Because of this, working on a joint announcement by six delegations also went through a throe that continued until late into the night.

Several reporters on foreign policy in Beijing said, “While the U.S.’ position is that all North Korean nuclear facilities and programs should be included in the context of freezing, North Korea refuted that only nuclear activity after the declaration of lifting the nuclear freezing in December 2002 is the subject, but further past suspicion on its nuclear issue has gone through an international verification.”

It is also known in the method of verifying nuclear freezing that whereas the U.S. prefers the North’s rejoining the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and being inspected comprehensively by the IAEA, the North is heard to have rejected the idea of returning to the NPT and insists a separate nuclear inspection led by the U.S.

Meanwhile, an official in the South Korean delegation said, “Despite remarks related to a future nuclear experiment, it was not a threatening type of remark according to interpretation by South Korea, the U.S., and Japan,” in contrast to the AP’s report that “the North threatens the U.S. that it could make an nuclear experiment if its own method was not accepted on June 24.”

He added that “the North Korea head delegate Kim Kye-kwan told U.S. head delegate James Kelly that Kim only emphasized an importance of countermeasures against nuclear freezing by saying, ‘There are additional personnel and agencies claiming a nuclear testing to make nuclear weapons. It is natural that we should have a cause and logic to persuade them.”

The participating countries are discussing an adoption of a joint statement framing, “North Korean nuclear abandonment should be made for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and as its first step, nuclear freezing accompanied with verification should be achieved” in a closing ceremony on June 26.

Hyong-gwon Pu bookum90@donga.com