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U.S.: “Don’t Offer Fertilizer Aid to The North”

Posted February. 16, 2005 22:51,   


Paul Wolfowitz, the U.S. deputy secretary of defense, reportedly revealed his “negative” point of view on 500,000 tons of fertilizer aid, which North Korea had demanded, at a meeting with Ban Ki-moon, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, on Monday.

According to a U.S. diplomatic source, Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz made an earnest request for discontinuance of the fertilizer aid, saying that it is unacceptable to supply fertilizer to the North under the unfavorable situation of the North declaring possession of nuclear weapons and indefinitely postponing its participation in the six-party talks.

Vice President Dick Cheney actually requested the discontinuance of the fertilizer aid in an interview with Minister Ban last Friday, saying, “It is not desirable to make compensation to the North as a move of economic cooperation,” and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz, a typical hard-liner of the U.S. Department of Defense, made the same request as Cheney.

The Korean government’s reaction to the U.S. requests is being watched.

Wolfowitz reportedly tried to feel the Korean government’s view on the matter of relegating the North’s nuclear issues to the UN Security Council.

It was reported that Ban said that “we provide the aid from humanitarian viewpoints,” and that he expressed an objection to the matter of referring to the UN Security Council, saying that it would make the nuclear issue more complicated without being of help.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com