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U.S. Intensifies Sanctions on North

Posted September. 13, 2006 03:01,   


As North Korea withholds its return to the six-party talks, the U.S. has turned away from its attempt to persuade the North and will intensify sanctions.

The U.S. is also furthering its intention to pressure North Korea, planning to hold a multilateral talk attended by foreign ministers of the five nations of the six-party talks excluding the North, and other countries, at the UN General Assembly late September or early October in order to gather opinions on the economic sanction against North Korea.

The chief U.S. representative to the six-party talks Christopher Hill, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, visited South Korea on September 11 and told Lee Jong-seok, the Minister of Unification and Yu Myeong-hwan, the first vice minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade that the attempt to persuade North Korea to return to the table seemed meaningless.

It is known that the Assistant Secretary Hill told Minister Lee, “I asked the North to arrange a bilateral meeting between North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan and me, but there was no reply. It is not likely that the North will be persuaded through dialogue to return to the talks.”

Assistant Secretary Hill passed on his willingness to see Vice Foreign Minister Kim through channels in New York connected to the North before his departure for tours to South Korea, China and Japan early this month.

“The US has a lot of doubts as to whether there is any possibility that the problems regarding the North Korean nuclear weapons can be solved through diplomatic negotiations and that North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons,” says a government official. “Voices are being raised within the US government stressing the uselessness of the six party talks.”

Even within the South Korean government, more and more people are turning to skepticism about the six party talks. President Roh confessed at a meeting with the executives of the press companies that the problems concerning the North Korean nuclear weapons and restarting the six party talks are “demanding, quite demanding.”

But Song Min-sun, the secretary of the Presidential Counsel of Unification, Diplomacy and Security Policies said at a press conference held on September 12, “None of the nations in the six party talks think that neutralizing the six party talks will be any help.”

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