SEOUL, June 21 (Xinhuanet) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon Tuesday regretted the renewed US criticism of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), saying "it would never help create an atmosphere of dialogue."
Recalling last week's meeting between South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young and the DPRK's top leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, Ban said all the six-party talks' participants should try to create an atmosphere conducive to resuming the stalled multilateral talks at the earliest possible date, reported South Korean Yonhap News Agency.
Ban's remarks came after US Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky repeated, in a speech at a forum on Monday, Washington's designation of the DPRK as one of the four "outposts of tyranny," along with Myanmar, Zimbabwe and Cuba.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is in Brussels for an international conference on Iraq, had also made similar remarks before.
"It's necessary for all concerned parties to be extra careful not to make remarks or take actions that could provoke North Korea(DPRK)," Ban said, adding that he will discuss the matter with Rice in Brussels on Wednesday.
Earlier Tuesday, Ban embarked on a three-nation trip that includes a stop in Brussels for a conference of donor countries for Iraq. His week-long tour also will take him to Israel and Palestine.
In order to find a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, China, the United States, the DPRK, Russia, South Korea and Japan have held three rounds of six-party talks in Beijing.
However, the fourth round of the talks failed to be convened as the DPRK refused to participate, citing the US hostile policy.
In last Friday's meeting, Kim was quoted by Chung as saying "the DPRK is willing to return to the six-party talks if the US recognizes and respects" Pyongyang. Enditem