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Future of Six Way Talks Gloomy

Posted May. 04, 2005 23:32,   


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon expressed concern on Wednesday about the prospects of the six-way talks due to the North Korea’s nuclear issues.

“The current stage is very important to resolve the North’s nuclear issue in a peaceful manner,” Ban said in a press briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Sejongno. He stressed that the government is trying its best to come up with measures with every possibility in mind.

The U.S. is now taking a tougher stance against the North, arguing that the North’s nuclear issues should be brought before the UN Security Council. In addition, the North recently test fired its missiles in the East Sea. Ban’s remark came with these events as a backdrop, making them more noteworthy than ever.

It is the first time that a high-ranking government official has gone public with such gloomy prospects for the six-way talks.

When asked the reasons for his pessimistic viewpoint, Ban replied that his ideas were based on the results of several consultations with relevant nations, including China and the U.S. He said that he sees the situation moving toward an unfavorable state as shown in the report regarding the North’s nuclear experiment.

Ban added that the international community is growing increasingly worried about what the North is truly pursuing. “The North must realize that the talks will not stay on hold forever. It should stop hanging on to groundless claims and should accept the request of the international community,” said Ban.

Ban will have a series of foreign minister meetings with Japan and China individually and together at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) scheduled for May 6 and 7 in Kyoto, Japan.

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com