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Korea and U.S. Seek Other Measures to Solve North’s Nuclear Standoff

Korea and U.S. Seek Other Measures to Solve North’s Nuclear Standoff

Posted April. 25, 2005 23:27,   


It was reported on April 25 that Korea and the U.S. have started to seek alternative plans to resolve the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program in case of the suspension of the six-way talks due to the North’s absence from the talks.

An official of the government said on that day that the time was coming to decide whether the prospect for the resumption of the six-party talks designed to terminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions was positive or not.

The official noted the above-mentioned matter after Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. negotiator and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Song Min-soon, the Korean chief negotiator and deputy foreign minister, and Ban Ki-moon, the Korean foreign minister, had a series of meetings. The official’s statement could be interpreted as support for the view of the “end- of-June-deadline” for the resumption of six-party talks.

When asked about whether or not the participants discussed measures for the suspension of the six-way talks at the meeting, the official stated, “the participants talked on a wide range of matters.”

Yet, he refused to give further details by saying, “not only sanctions or coercion, but also other diplomatic measures could be used to reopen the six-party talks.”

Meanwhile, Ban warned in his speech at the 21st century Northeast Asia Future Forum held at the Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul, that if North Korea recklessly conducts a nuclear test, it would deepen the self-caused isolation of North Korea and wouldn’t guarantee the North’s future.

Ban added, “North Korea should understand the fact that it’s impossible to have a normal relationship with the international community while possessing nuclear arms.”

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com