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6-Way Talks to Reconvene December 18

Posted December. 11, 2006 06:58,   


The six-party talks to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue will officially resume on December 18 after six-party negotiators, including those from South Korea, North Korea, and China, meet for bilateral as well as multilateral meetings starting December 16.

This upcoming talks have been resumed for the first time in one year and a month since they were halted due to North Korean’s opposition to U.S. sanctions in November last year.

After North Korea demonstrated its willingness to return to the talks and had a discussion with China, China proposed the rest of the six-party negotiators set a date for the talks on December 16. Due to a flight schedule and preparation time, however, North Korea reportedly postponed the date to December 18.

A U.S. senior government official said, “The six-nation talks will resume in Beijing starting from December 18 and be held for three to five days,” according to AP news.

Regarding the list of actions demanded by the U.S. at the end of last month during the bilateral talks, North Korea said it would respond later at the six-party talks during the bilateral talks with China and the U.S. last week.

An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said, “The U.S. is thinking positively of North Korean’s willingness to review the actions and its intention to negotiate.”

Meanwhile, China reportedly made an independent proposal to the U.S. and North Korea at the Beijing meeting last month between the chief negotiators of China, North Korea, and U.S., according to the Japanese Asahi Shimbun.

According to the newspaper, at the trilateral meeting, the list of actions that the U.S. asked North Korea to conduct included freezing its nuclear facility in Yongbyon, allowing the return of IAEA inspectors, giving reports of their nuclear programs, and shutting down its nuclear testing ground. However, North Korea stood firm against the U.S. by saying it should be treated as a nuclear state.

Taking this into consideration, China called for North Korea to comply with only two obligations, to suspend its nuclear facility and to allow the return of inspectors of IAEA, whereas it proposed to set up meetings regarding issues like lifting financial sanctions against North Korea, normalizing North Korea’s relationship with the U.S. and Japan, and resuming economic and energy aid.

Previously on December 9, a source from the Japanese foreign ministry said that North Korea is ready to allow the return of inspectors from the IAEA, according to the website of Voice of America (VOA).