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N. Korea Demands Peace Treaty With US

Posted December. 11, 2009 08:53,   


North Korea yesterday reportedly demanded a peace treaty with the U.S. to U.S. special envoy Stephen Bosworth in Pyongyang.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok Ju is said to have repeatedly stressed the necessity of a peace treaty when he spoke to the U.S. diplomat.

The North hinted at its intent to conclude a peace treaty before Bosworth’s visit to Pyongyang.

The daily Chosun Shinbo, the mouthpiece of the pro-North Korea league of residents in Japan, said last week, “The key issue of bilateral talks between North Korea and the U.S. is the establishment of a peace regime,” adding, “Other miscellaneous issues cannot be on the agenda.”

“To secure peace on the Korean Peninsula, the process of ending hostility between North Korea and the U.S. is needed beforehand.”

The common understanding between Seoul and Washington, however, is that such a request by Pyongyang is unacceptable because the communist country seeks what it wants while ignoring the international community’s demand for denuclearization.

In addition, Seoul’s consistent stance is that a peace treaty should be discussed outside of the six-party framework. Since the matter concerns the two Koreas, a separate forum is needed in line with the 2005 joint statement reached at the six-way talks.

A South Korean government official said yesterday, “Issues on which the North demanded priority have been mostly to distract attention and diverge from the main points.”

Pyongyang early this year said it would resume dialogue if Washington provided a light-water nuclear reactor, but soon backtracked on what it said. Instead, it stepped up provocations by launching long-range missiles and conducting its second nuclear test.

North Korea also took a stand on resolving all issues if the U.S. removed the reclusive state from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Though Washington removed Pyongyang from the list in August 2007, the communist country has continued developing its nuclear program.

The official said, “The North has already conducted nuclear tests twice so it’s impossible to discuss other issues instead of denuclearization,” adding, “The North must scrap its nuclear weapons first if it wants discussion on a peace treaty and nuclear disarmament.”