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North Korea Admonished to Return to Six-Party Talks

Posted February. 16, 2005 22:46,   


The Korean government held a ministerial meeting on security at Cheong Wa Dae on February 16, presided over by President Roh Moo-hyun, and discussed comprehensive plans to deal with the North Korean announcement on the possession of nuclear weapons and its refusal to participate in the six-party talks.

President Roh stated, “The North should state its position during the talks, and the difference in positions should be dealt with in a mature manner after stating the parties’ respective opinions,” and that “North Korea should resume the six-party talks as soon as possible.”

The Minister of Unification and head of the NSC Chung Dong-young, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon, Minister of National Defense Yoon Kwang-ung, Head of National Intelligence Agency Ko Young-goo, and Presidential National Security Advisor Kwon Jin-ho attended the meeting.

Minister Ban stated in the national and international briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building before the meeting that “I conveyed the message to the U.S. government that ‘as long as the North Korean nuclear issue remains unresolved, we will not pursue widespread economic aid, but will engage in economic cooperation on a humanitarian level.’”

Minister Ban further added that “it was conveyed to the U.S. that ‘the Gaesong Industrial Complex project is also being pursued at a small scale with an area of 28,000 pyong.’” The message was interpreted that the North Korean nuclear issue will also affect the Gaesong Industrial Complex project.

Regarding the issue of 500,000 tons of fertilizer aid, Minister Ban mentioned that “the government has not reached a decision, which will eventually take into consideration all the circumstantial factors,” and that “the U.S. government has not mentioned a specific proposal on the matter, which we take to be a concession of the actions taken by the Korean government.”

On pressures and limitations to North Korea, Minister Ban stated, “We have not discussed the need for South Korean and American pressure at this point, and we do not feel the need to do so,” and that “it’s time to resolve the issue peacefully through talks.”

Minister Chung stated in the morning presentation that “it’s too early to discuss limitations and pressure on the North at this point,” and that “should South Korea and the U.S. draw a red line, we will be limiting our own options.”

Jung-Hun Kim Hyong-gwon Pu jnghn@donga.com bookum90@donga.com