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U.S.: “The Six-Party Talks Cannot Continue Forever”

Posted March. 16, 2005 22:12,   


U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Christopher Hill, who was appointed as assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said on Tuesday that the six-party talks cannot continue on forever and if North Korea keeps refusing to participate in the talks, the U.S. would have to look for other ways.

On the same day, Ambassador Hill, during the U.S. Senate Committee on foreign relations nomination hearing, emphasized that “I believe the six-party dialogue is the right way to deal with North Korea’s nuclear problem, and that we should see some progress made.”

However, Ambassador Hill said, “we (the U.S. and South Korea) are sending different messages to North Korea, and North Korea is using this to their advantage,” acknowledging that there exists a discrepancy between the U.S. and South Korea after North Korea’s declaration of nuclear weapons on February 10, and its refusal to participate in the six-party talks.

Furthermore, he added, “the U.S. and South Korea are having intimate talks, but since South Korea is located on the Korean peninsula, its perspective slightly differs from that of the U.S.”

Also, Ambassador Hill stated that the six-party talks will likely develop into an East Asian Region Security Organization, expressing that the U.S. has every intention to participate in such an organization.

He said, “In Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have dealt with conflicts among nations and acted as a watchdog over other nations’ elections,” adding that there should be such an organization made in Asia to deal with impending problems.

Along with Ambassador Hill, the U.S. Special Envoy to the Six-Power Talks, Joseph DeTrani, also attended the hearing, saying, “Not only can China persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, but I believe China can play a much bigger role for denuclearization in the Korean peninsula,” urging China to become a more active player.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has embarked on her Asia trip to visit six nations, held an informal press talk on her way to India, saying, “North Korea wants bilateral talks with the U.S. (besides the six-party talks), but we will not accept it.”

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com