Article published the Sunday 24 July 2011 - Latest update : Sunday 24 July 2011

North Korea 'in talks with US over denuclearisation'

The US and Korea: 'to discuss denuclearisation this week'


The United States announced Sunday that a top North Korean envoy would visit New York later this week for "exploratory talks" on the possible resumption of the six-party negotiations on denuclearisation. The talks would be the first such contacts for almost two years. 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the North's vice foreign minister and former nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye-Gwan, would visit the US "later this week" for the talks.

The invitation was announced after envoys from North and South Korea held unexpected talks in Indonesia on Friday, on the sidelines of an Asian security forum which Clinton attended alongside ministers from China and South Korea.

"Following the first round of denuclearisation talks between the nuclear negotiators of the Republic of Korea and North Korea, the United States has invited North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-gwan to New York later this week," Clinton said in a statement.

Kim's visit will mark the resumption of US-North Korean dialogue 19 months after Stephen Bosworth, the top US envoy on Korean peninsula affairs, visited Pyongyang in December 2009.

Robert King, the US special envoy for human rights in North Korea, visited the North in May as head of a team but his mission was mainly to assess its food needs following a request for aid.

In a statement released to reporters as she left Indonesia after three days of intense engagement with East Asian foreign ministers, Clinton said Kim would meet with an interagency team of US officials.

Their discussions would focus on the "next steps necessary to resume denuclearisation negotiations through the six-party talks", she said.

"This will be an exploratory meeting to determine if North Korea is prepared to affirm its obligations under international and six-party talk commitments, as well as take concrete and irreversible steps toward denuclearisation," Clinton said.

She said the United States had repeatedly affirmed its readiness to open talks with North Korea, but it was not prepared to offer any new concessions in order to re-start the stalled multilateral negotiations.

"We do not intend to reward the North just for returning to the table," Clinton said.

"We will not give them anything new for actions they have already agreed to take. And we have no appetite for pursuing protracted negotiations that will only lead us right back to where we have already been."

The US has not yet announced whether its will join the European Union in providing North Korea with food aid.South Korea's Yonhap news agency, citing diplomatic sources in Seoul, earlier Sunday reported that Kim would visit New York around Thursday.

Kim will discuss the North's nuclear issues and possible resumption of US food aid with Stephen Bosworth, the US special envoy on North Korea, as well as other officials, it said.

South Korean nuclear envoy Wi Sung-Lac and his counterpart from the North, Ri Yong-Ho, met for more than two hours at a luxury hotel in Bali on Friday.

Both emerged saying they hoped to re-start the six-party talks.The South's foreign minister, Kim Sung-Hwan, then briefly met his North Korean counterpart, Pak Ui-Chun, on Saturday morning ahead of the regional security dialogue.

Clinton said the United States was "encouraged" by the surprise talks but remained cautious on resuming the disarmament forum.

North Korea had to improve North-South relations, she said, after recent incidents including the shelling of a South Korean island and alleged sinking of a South Korean warship.

In a joint statement released Saturday, the United States, South Korea and Japan also said Pyongyang must "address" its secretive uranium enrichment programme before the talks could re-start.

The six-party denuclearisation forum, grouping two Koreas, the US, Japan, China and Russia, has been deadlocked since the last meeting in December 2008.

The impoverished communist state, believed to have enough plutonium for six to eight atomic bombs, stormed out of the talks in April 2009 and a conducted its second nuclear test a month later.

The North also revealed an apparently operational uranium enrichment plant
to visiting US experts last November, claiming it was for peaceful energy.

tags: Hillary Clinton - North Korea - Nuclear - USA
Comments (1)

The Korean issue

The only country to ever have used nuclear weapons,not once but twice and, if I'm asked, in a very indiscriminate and cowardly way, against defenseless civilians, is the USA. Furthermore, the USA continues to periodically threaten , assault and occupy other countries. in the case of Korea the USA still occupies more than half of that country, under the pretext of promoting democracy , protecting the south from the communist north and other nonsense. Now, supposedly the south is rich and prosperous and democratic; Then, or if so, why is the USA still occupying it? It seems to me that the only reason why the USA is there is to explore it and control it and deny a united Korea its right place as a power in the world or at least in the region.
If the north did not possess 'the bomb' it would probably have already been defeated or attacked by the USA. Besides, the very idea that one's enemy has 'the bomb' is a good reason and justification for one too also have the same capability. the idea that only certain countries should have 'the bomb' is cynical and irrational. No country should be allowed to have 'the bomb'; and, any and all countries possessing it should be branded a rogue state and despised by the international community and by all peace loving peoples and nations.
I predict that once the north masters the capability to send ICBMs anywhere it pleases, it will attack the USA in order to liberate the rest of Korea from the Yankee grips or the american occupation. I also predict that once that happens the USA will very quickly comply with the north's ultimatum and promptly call for 'peace talks' and leave the Korean peninsula.
From the north's perspective the real demilitarization of the Korean peninsula can only take place when the USA, a nuclear power, leaves Korea and that, I suspect, is indeed what the talks are all about between the north and the USA , in spite of what we are told . The north considers it it's duty, mission and obligation to free the country from foreign occupation and once again unite the whole Korean nation; and; I for one , can sympathize with that view; because, if half or even parts of my country was under occupation I'd do my best to liberate it.
So my advice to those who think that only a handful of countries should have the right to properly defend their interests and their national integrety is: go insult someone's else intelligence! Nuclear power for everyone or nuclear power for no one.
Long live the heroic people of Korea!
Out with the foriegn invaders and the occupation armies!

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