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“Pyongyang to Return to Talks in June”

Posted March. 01, 2005 00:00,   


North Korea expressed its stance to Seoul through an unofficial channel that it will return to the six-party talks by as early as this June, the Sankei Shimbun reported on February 28, 2005, quoting an unidentified Japanese official.

Pyongyang also suggested that it would like to reach a bilateral agreement with the U.S. by October once denuclearization within the Korean Peninsula and an economic support plan becomes visible after the coming six-party talks.

The paper reported that this information was also channeled to Japan via South Korea. However South Korean government officially denied the report.

The report said that there is a high possibility that the working-level talks will be held before May to materialize Pyongyang`s plan. The U.S.’ reluctance to have a bilateral agreement with North Korea, however, will be a decisive factor, the report added.

Song Min-soon, the deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea and who also heads the Korean representatives for the six-party talks, denounced the report, saying, "That report is based on assumptions and has no significance for comment."

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lee Kyu-hyung also denied the report, saying, "The South Korean government wants the North to come back to the six-party talks as soon as possible."

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com