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Six Nations Working on Joint Statement

Posted August. 01, 2005 06:08,   


On July 31, the sixth day of the fourth round of the six party talks to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, the participating countries embarked on drafting a joint statement.

The United States, Japan, China, Russia, and the two Koreas held a working-level meeting attended by deputy chief negotiators in Beijing for four hours and 40 minutes from 10:10 am and revised the initial draft.

The first draft reflecting the positions of the six nations was proposed by China, the host country of the talks, at the chief delegates’ meeting one day earlier. The participants of the talks agreed that the phrasing of the draft be modified in a working-level meeting.

North Korea and the U.S. held their fifth round of bilateral talks after the chief delegates’ meeting on July 30 and discussed main issues, but they failed to reach an agreement on some issues including the highly enriched uranium program that Pyongyang denies it has.

About the resumption of the construction of light water reactors for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, South Korea and the U.S. reportedly declined North Korea’s demand, saying that it is a matter to consider only after the North’s nuclear issue is concluded, North Korea returns to the Non Proliferation Treaty, and builds international confidence.

Concerning the principle on dismantling the North’s nuclear programs and providing corresponding rewards, South Korea’s chief negotiator and deputy foreign minister Song Min-soon said to the press on July 31, “The actions are based on the principle of simultaneity,” suggesting the joint statement will exclude arguments that the dismantlement of nuclear programs should be done first or that the relations between North Korea and the U.S. should be normalized first.

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com