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Senator Kerry Urges High-Level US-North Korea Talks

Posted July. 29, 2010 15:19,   


Senator John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged the U.S. Tuesday to pursue diplomatic dialogue with North Korea as well as strengthening deterrence against it for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

He emphasized the necessity of high-level talks between Washington and Pyongyang to confirm the Stalinist country’s genuine commitment to denuclearization.

In a speech read at a peace and security forum on the Korean Peninsula at Congress, Kerry said that while strengthening defense preparedness to deter any attack from North Korea is needed, peaceful methods of negotiations should be pursued simultaneously to fundamentally tackle security issues on the Korean Peninsula, which is still in the grip of the Cold War.

The speech was read by Frank Jannuzi, East Asia specialist for the minority staff of the Senate committee. Kerry was unable to attend the forum.

Kerry also urged a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, saying this explains the restrained U.S. response to the Cheonan sinking. He said resuming talks with the North as soon as possible is more important than at any other time in the past.

Direct and candid dialogue with high-level Pyongyang officials is the only way to determine if the North is serious about improving relations with Seoul, Washington and other responsible members of international society, he added.

Kerry also spoke of “strategic patience,” indicating that the Obama administration’s policy toward North Korea should not become “strategic indifference.”

Continuous diplomatic engagement with the North is the best way to change its risky and unstable behavior patterns, something which the U.S. must bear in mind, he said.