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U.S. Takes Hard Line Toward N. Korea

Posted July. 22, 2006 03:12,   


U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill announced Washington’s five new policy options toward North Korea over additional sanctions, the holding of the five-way talks, the demand on China to pressure the North, human rights issues and change of regime behavior.

Hill discussed the tough policy options in detail Wednesday during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington. These options are expected to be applied step-by-step according to priorities.

He also said that the U.S. will push ahead with five-party talks in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) which is to be held in Malaysia at the end of this month. “There will be informal six-way talks if North Korea participates in the talks. If the North does not participate, we will just simply have five-way talks,” Hill said.

“The normalization of diplomatic ties between the U.S. and North Korea will be discussed in the future along with other issues, including human rights in North Korea,” Hill added.

The U.S. government has been refraining from mentioning human rights abuses in North Korea in the six-party talks since it wants to avoid unnecessary conflicts with the North.

“We are not interested in the regime change as it is a matter for the people of the North to decide. However, we will attempt to induce a change in its political behavior,” Hill said.

Seung-Ryun Kim Young-A Soh srkim@donga.com sya@donga.com