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North Korea, U.S. Forgery Talks Set

Posted February. 25, 2006 03:05,   


North Korean and American officials will meet on March 7 in New York to discuss currency-counterfeiting allegations, according to U.S. State Department officials yesterday.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said in his regular briefing that day that North Korean representative Lee Keun, director of the America branch of the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, would meet with U.S. representatives from the Department of the Treasury, the State Department, and the White House National Security Council (NSC).

Ereli explained that this is a meeting for technical experts to find out if the counterfeiting allegations can be explained, and if America’s doubts concerning North Korea’s actions can be resolved.

In response to questions regarding the world`s interest in the meeting as a possible breakthrough in getting the six-party talks restarted, he said “This is unrelated to the six party talks,” and emphasized that “talks must be resumed as soon as possible.”

In response to questions about the North Korean food aid problem, Ereli said that was an issue between the World Food Programme (WFP) and North Korea, and that discussions were progressing. “When we receive the WFP’s analysis, we will create our aid standards based on transparency and urgency.”

On the issue of America’s accommodation of defectors after the passage of its North Korean human rights act, he said “The American resettlement process for North Korean citizens is the same as those for citizens of other countries,” and explained that “the Administration is cooperating with other official institutions and groups, as well as governments of other countries, in order to prepare accommodations.”

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com