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U.S. Envoy Certain South Korea’s Electricity Offer Will Be Accepted

U.S. Envoy Certain South Korea’s Electricity Offer Will Be Accepted

Posted August. 02, 2005 03:02,   


South Korea has expressed its will to offer two million KW of electricity aid to North Korea under the condition that the North abandons its nuclear program. This offer is reportedly to be included in the final statement of principles of the six-party talks, which is now in session in Beijing, China.

U.S. top envoy Christopher Hill, who is also the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia-Pacific affairs, said late on July 31 that the South’s offer of electricity aid was in the first draft agreement, and that he was certain of its being included in the final draft as well.

When this statement including the South’s offer is officially announced as a formal agreement, more active discussions on the abolishment of the North’s nuclear capacity and measures for compensation in stages are expected to begin.

The two Koreas, the U.S., Japan, China, and Russia held working level talks on August 1 and have been working on a revision of a second draft submitted by China for two days.

Earlier, China, the host nation, had submitted a second draft on July 31 that reflected all participating nations’ opinions on the first draft.

Before the working level talks, each participating country had a series of bilateral meetings in order to negotiate disputed points.

The U.S. and South Korea have insisted on inserting the phrase, “the abolishment of North Korea’s nuclear program,” or a concrete expression that exactly referred to the North’s abandonment of its nuclear capability, while North Korea has been opposed to it, claiming that it was unacceptable since no specific compensation to be offered in return for its abandoning the nuclear program has been clarified yet.

North Korea and the U.S. made every effort this day in last-minute negotiations, holding two bilateral meetings a day for the first time since the beginning of the six-party talks.

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com