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thunderous
06 Sep 06,, 15:59
Courtesy Bloomberg:


N. Korea Has No Interest in Resuming Nuclear Talks (Update3)
2006-09-06 02:33 (New York)


(Adds comment from North Korea starting in 12th paragraph.)

By Allen T. Cheng
Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- North Korea has no interest in
returning to six-nation talks on ending its nuclear weapons
program, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said.
``We're at a difficult juncture,'' Hill said today in
Beijing. ``It seems the DPRK isn't interested in coming back to
talks.'' The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is North
Korea's formal name.
Hill is in China for a weeklong visit as part of a new round
of diplomacy aimed at restarting the six-nation talks. U.S.
President George W. Bush on Aug. 21 asked China's President Hu
Jintao to pressure North Korea to return to the negotiations.
North Korea has refused to attend until the U.S. lifts economic
sanctions it imposed in October.
``It's fair to say the Chinese very much want to try to find
a diplomatic way forward,'' Hill said after meeting Vice Foreign
Minister Wu Dawei. ``It seems like they are finding it difficult,
as North Korea is less interested in moving forward.''
The last round of six-nation talks ended in November without
agreement after the parties signed a declaration in September
2005 calling for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.
South Korea's Foreign Ministry today said the six-nation
forum is the best to way to reach a settlement.

Talks `Best Tool'

``Six-nation talks remain the best tool for resolving the
North Korean nuclear issue,'' South Korean Vice Foreign Minister
Lee Kyu Hyung told reporters at a briefing in Seoul. ``With North
Korea's continued absence from the talks, the remaining
participants can exchange ideas on how best to implement the Sept.
11 declaration'' from last year, he said.
Hill, the chief U.S. negotiator at the talks, which also
include South Korea, Japan and Russia, two days ago called on
North Korea to return to negotiations without preconditions. He
was speaking in Tokyo, at the start of his trip. He is scheduled
to visit South Korea's capital, Seoul, after his stay in Beijing.
North Korea drew international condemnation when it tested
seven missiles on July 5, including a Taepodong-2, which U.S.
officials have said may be able to reach Alaska. North Korea on
July 6 vowed to continue the tests.

Nuclear Test

China and the U.S. are concerned over recent reports North
Korea may be preparing to test a nuclear weapon, Hill said.
``They like us, are concerned about this,'' Hill said. ``We
certainly discussed that the DPRK could take additional
provocative steps. We talked about the way to tell the DPRK that
would not be the right thing to do.''
North Korea said the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and
Israel's recent offensive in Lebanon demonstrated the need for
countries to maintain a strong military, the official Korean
Central News Agency reported.
``A country can reliably defend itself only when it
manufactures necessary weapons by itself,'' the news agency said,
citing the Rodong Sinmun newspaper.
North Korea may have produced as many as six nuclear weapons
from spent nuclear fuel, U.S. officials estimated in 2004,
according to a Congressional Research Service report dated May 25
this year. North Korea may have enough plutonium to make as many
as 13 nuclear weapons, the Institute for Science and
International Security said in a June 26 report.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il isn't visiting China, South
Korea's Yonhap News reported today. Kim's train is still in North
Korea, Yonhap cited an unidentified South Korean official as
saying. China yesterday denied Kim was planning to visit.

--Editors: Ahlstrand (pmt)

Story Illustration: For stories North Korea's nuclear program,
click on {TNI NUK NKOREA BN <GO>}.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Allen T. Cheng in Beijing at (8610) 6505-0586 or
acheng13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Paul Tighe at (612) 9777-8626 or
ptighe@bloomberg.net;
Bruce Grant at (852) 2977-6452 or
bruceg@bloomberg.net


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-0- Sep/06/2006 06:33 GMT

dalem
06 Sep 06,, 16:25
Why are you just posting endless Bloomberg articles?

-dale