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“The Two Koreas Had Contacted in New York Regarding NK’s Nuclear Issue”

“The Two Koreas Had Contacted in New York Regarding NK’s Nuclear Issue”

Posted February. 21, 2005 22:56,   


It was reported on February 21 that South and North Korea discussed a plan to resolve the North’s nuclear program through diplomatic channel several times in New York after North Korea declared its possession of nuclear weapons on February 10.

Grand National Party member Won Hui-ryong claimed at the general meeting of the Committee on Unification, Foreign Affairs, and Trade, “According to the reliable source, North Korea’s U.N. Deputy Ambassador Han Song-ryul and South Korea’s representative (relevant official) held talks about the North’s possession of nuclear arms and the resumption of the six-party talks.”

Won told a reporter after the meeting that the South’s representative was an administrative minister to the U.S., Wi Sung-lak (working at the Korean embassy in Washington D.C.), and the Korean ambassador to the U.S., Han Seung-joo, said at the time that he couldn’t attend the talks as U.S. continued its hostile policy towards North Korea, and that he sent a message to the South Korean representative in which he demanded the frame and contents of the talks be different from that of the six-party talks.

Won also added that the government looks to have concluded that the North’s declaration of its nuclear bombs was only for negotiation and that as two major officials in authority discussed the matter, there might have been more in-depth discussions.

As for the matter, Minister of Unification and Head of the National Security Council (NSC) Chung Dong-young was vague, saying, “I can’t answer as the matter is related to the information,” but he didn’t exclude the possibility of the matter.

It is said that the meeting in New York was held at the request of the North. A high-ranking government official who asked for anonymity said that the government is currently undergoing a through analysis of North Korea’s intention and background to have requested contact with the South only several days after its mentioning of nuclear weapons and its absence from the six-party talks.

Meanwhile, on the request of North Korea’s 500,000-ton fertilizer aid, Minister Chung stated that he wouldn’t relate the fertilizer aid to the six-party talks and that the South Korean government has not decided anything specific, and that it would consult with the North Korean government at the negotiation table, if possible.

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com