Go to contents

Other Options If Six-Party Talks Collapse

Posted March. 21, 2005 22:37,   


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned on Monday, March 21 that if North Korea does not rejoin the six-party talks to settle the nuclear problem, the U.S. will consider “other options.”

On the last day of Rice’s visit to China, she was asked in a press conference in Beijing what measures are to be taken if the efforts to bring North Korea back to the negotiation table fail. She answered, “We have no choice but to consider other options. Everyone knows that in the international system, there are other options.”

Her statement seems to show that “five-way talks” excluding North Korea or presenting the North Korean nuclear matter to the U.N. Security Council is being considered. However, Rice stressed repeatedly, “We have no intention of attacking North Korea,” indicating that military action as “another option” is not being considered.

She said, “If there is a problem with them (North Korea), and if they keep on following that path, all countries, including South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the U.S. will have to carry the problem.”

Regarding the resumption period for the six-party talks, Rice emphasized, “It all depends on North Korea. Everyone is waiting, and is ready for constructive conversation.” This means that the U.S. is ready to consider the matter of supplying energy to North Korea.

Prior to this, Rice met with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and urged active support from China to bring North Korea back to the negotiation table, saying that the stalemate in the six-party talks cannot be endlessly waited on.

Li stressed the goal of a peaceful settlement through dialogue over the nuclear matter, and said that in order for North Korea to rejoin the disarmament talks, the U.S. should relieve North Korea’s “reasonable” worries.

Meanwhile, Li said that the Taiwan matter will be the largest challenge to the U.S.-China relationship, and requested that the U.S. support the “one China” principle and not send the wrong signals to Taiwan, which may worsen tension across the Taiwan Straits.

Rice stated that there is no change in the U.S. government’s support of the “one China” policy, and stressed that the Taiwan matter should be settled through peaceful measures.

She also expressed that China should be more liberal to matters such as democratization, human rights and the freedom of religion.

Yoo-Seong Hwang yshwang@donga.com