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Missile Talks Go On Without N. Korea

Posted July. 29, 2006 03:00,   


On July 28, ten-party talks were held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, attended by foreign ministers from Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and New Zealand as well as those from the original six-party talks members excluding North Korea.

The foreign ministers from the five participants of the six-party talk, namely Korea, the U.S., China, Japan, and Russia, and Canada, Australia, and Malaysia agreed to hold an eight-party talk on July 27. However, as China suggested, New Zealand and Indonesia joined the talks on July 28.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presiding over the ten-party talks criticized, “I`ve said anytime people want to talk in the six-party framework, I am ready to do it. But I don`t have any indication that the North Koreans intend to take up the call."

“Six-party talks? Such a thing cannot happen," said a North Korean spokesman, Chong Song Il, the executive director of the international organization department at the North Korean Foreign Ministry. "In order to hold six-party talks, the U.S. should lift financial sanctions against us.”

The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) held in Kuala Lumpur on that day adopted the joint communiqué including criticism toward North Korea’s missile launches. The ARF has 25 member states including the ten-party nations as well as North Korea, but the North did not participate in the discussion process for the joint communiqué.

Myoung-Gun Lee gun43@donga.com