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Bush Wants Action, Not Words From North

Posted November. 10, 2005 03:34,   


U.S. President George W. Bush emphasized on November 8, “North Korea should make an effort to turn its diplomatic rhetoric into reality.” President Bush held an interview with the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) that day at the White House before attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Busan. He said in the interview, “There has been progress in the six-party talks, but it is time to take action rather than rhetoric to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.”

The president’s remark reaffirmed Washington’s North Korea policy: “Pyongyang should make clear its will to renounce nuclear programs with concrete actions.” Pyongyang declared its willingness to give up nuclear programs in the agreement reached at the fourth round of the six-party talks, but it has made remarks contrary to the declaration, saying, “We cannot give them up before receiving a light water reactor.”

Prior to the interview with the KBS, the U.S. president also had an interview with the Chosun Ilbo, the Asahi Shimbun, and the Xinhua News Agency. During the interview, he stated, “We will discuss it at an ‘appropriate time’ after obtaining concrete results about Pyongyang’s dismantlement of its nuclear programs,” responding to the question about Washington’s provision of a light water reactor to Pyongyang.

The president also emphasized, “A difficult negotiation requires a degree of patience.” With regard to the fifth round of six-party talks opening that day in Beijing, he said, “The talks will recess after continuing for three days. The talks will be held for a longer period of time next month.”

Meanwhile, he said in the interview with the KBS, “I’m aware of Korea’s emotion and anger toward Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. I want to play a useful role in healing the rift among Korea, China, and Japan caused by the prime minister’s shrine visit.”

Mr. Bush held a five to six minutes press conference broadcast that day with broadcasting companies of each of the countries that he was supposed to visit around the APEC summit, including the KBS (Korea), NHK (Japan), Phoenix TV (China), and Eagle Broadcasting Company (Mongolia).

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com