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Six-Party Talks Paused, Will Resume Last Week of August

Posted August. 08, 2005 03:04,   


The fourth round of the six-party talks went into recess on August 7, 13 days after they kicked off in Beijing on July 26 with the aim to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue. The talks will be resumed in the last week of August. The exact date will be decided later.

Wu Dawei, Chinese vice foreign minister and chairman of the six party talks, said in a statement released after the plenary meeting held earlier August 7, “We reconfirmed that the goal of the six party talks is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful means and agreed to issue a joint statement to this effect,” adding, “We also agreed to take a recess to allow members time to deliberate the issue in their countries.”

At the plenary session, members reportedly decided to take a recess shortly after confirming that North Korea refused to accept the final draft agreement proposed by China, the chair country, on August 2.

South Korea`s Deputy Foreign Minister and top negotiator, Song Min-soon, said, “We failed to find common ground on several issues such as the extent of dismantling nuclear programs and measures that need to be taken accordingly, especially whether to allow North Korea peaceful nuclear use. So the next meeting will focus on these issues.”

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Asian Affairs Christopher Hill said, “North Korea demanded light nuclear reactors which can be classified as a peaceful nuclear facility, and wanted this to be reflected in the agreement,” adding, “We can’t accept it.”

He said, “I’m ready to talk to him,” hinting that he may contact North Korea`s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan during the recess.

Kim argued, “We hope that the U.S. will alter its policy not to allow North Korea any kind of nuclear power during the recess. This is the key to making progress in the talks.”

Jong-Koo Yoon Hyung-June Park jkmas@donga.com lovesong@donga.com