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North Korea Agrees to Return to Six-Party Talks

Posted July. 11, 2005 03:20,   


The fourth six-party talks for resolving the North Korea nuclear crisis will be held in Beijing on the last week of July. Thirteen months have passed since the third meeting in June 2004.

North Korean Central TV reported on July 9 that “DPRK Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan and U.S. Under-Secretary Christopher Hill, who are chief delegates to the six-party talks, met in Beijing on July 9. Pyongyang and Washington agreed to resume the fourth round of talks sometime on the week beginning July 25.”

North Korean Central TV conveyed that the “United States officially expressed that North Korea is a sovereign nation, the U.S. has no intention to invade North Korea, and that it will have bilateral talks within the framework of the six-party talks. North Korea understands that the U.S. is withdrawing its remark that the former is an ‘outpost of tyranny’ and thus it decided to come back to the table.”

Via a commentary, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, “I am glad that Pyongyang is returning to the six-party talks pledging to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. We look forward to taking a step forward to achieving this goal in the talks.”

Meeting with journalists after her conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on that day, U.S. Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice emphasized, “Pyongyang’s return to the talks is only the first step. What is important is to make a progress at the talks.”

North Korea’s foreign ministry spokesman elucidated yesterday, “The re-opening of the six-party talks itself is also important, but the core fundamental should be to discuss methodical issues involved in realizing a denuclearized Korean Peninsula thoroughly and achieve substantial progress. For this, we will try as hard as we can.”

The Korean government plans to concentrate on tuning the strategies of Korea and the U.S. for the six-party talks with Rice, who will be visiting Korea on July 12 and 13.

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com klimt@donga.com