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Foreign Minister Song Comments on February 13 Agreement

Posted March. 22, 2007 03:03,   


Foreign Minister Song Min-soon yesterday said, “The Beijing Agreement, announced on February 13 by the six-party talks participants is a ‘fragile process’ because North Korea is unpredictable, troublesome and because it is hard to know what they are thinking.”

Minister Song said the above at a monthly breakfast lecture and alumni meeting of Seoul National University’s departments of political science and international relations held at the Lotte Hotel in Jung-gu and defined the agreement as “an initial action to implement the nuclear crisis-solving plan based on the September 19 Joint Statement on North Korea’s nuclear dismantlement.”

However, Song noted, “For its part, North Korea will find it hard to renege on the agreement. They know that backtracking on the agreement will be their loss.”

Regarding the goal of the six-party talks, Song emphasized that the participating countries are approaching the matter from a wider perspective beyond just nuclear issue.

Meanwhile, just as Song pointed out that the North is unpredictable, North Korea failed to attend the six-party talks in Beijing yesterday, three days into the start of the talks. Due to the North’s absence from the talks, the process of scheduling a timetable to close down the North’s nuclear facilities and confirming the roadmap for disabling the North’s nuclear program has been disrupted.

Kim Kye Kwan, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister and chief negotiator to the talks, didn’t join the meeting yesterday morning, insisting that the North’s $25 million frozen in Banco Delta Asia (BDA) should be transferred into an account held by North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank at the Bank of China.

A government official stated, “The transfer is being delayed, as it takes time for the BDA to go through the process of remitting the money.”

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