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North Korea Rejects Libyan Policy of “Abandoning Nukes First”

North Korea Rejects Libyan Policy of “Abandoning Nukes First”

Posted July. 25, 2004 22:01,   


The North Korean Foreign Ministry officially turned down the U.S.-style solution that it was presented in the third round of six-way talks, saying, "This suggestion leaves no room for consideration."

"A `Converting Proposal` means we have to `abandon nuclear weapons first` like Libya, even though it included the `converting` term, which we don`t need to consider," said a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman during a press conference with the KCNA news agency.

"The U.S. should take part in energy compensation up to 2 million kW, not withdraw from compensation participants. Whether or not the U.S. participates in compensation is a key to a solution for the nuclear standoff," said the Foreign Ministry concerning the U.S. proposal for South Korea, China, Japan and Russia to offer North Korea energy if North Korea completes disarmament declaration and preparation procedures.

The North Korean assertion is being interpreted as a response to U.S. suggestions such as those from U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Undersecretary of State John Bolton, saying, "If North Korea abandons nuclear weapons, it will gain a lot of things," or, "Abandon nuclear weapons like Libya did."

However, U.S. participation in the energy compensation deal North Korea requested is out of line with the dominant principle according to which the U.S. doesn`t compensate countries involved in terrorism, a policy the U.S. has maintained consistently. It is therefore expected that things will not go smoothly in terms of narrowing the differences in viewpoint between North Korea and the U.S.

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com