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Nuclear talks resume, US vows not to attack DPRK
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-26 14:25:36

   ĦĦBEIJING, July 26 (Xinhuanet) -- The six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue restarted Tuesday in Beijing after a 13-month-long impasse, with the United States promising not to attack the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). 

    US chief negotiator Christopher Hill said at the opening session of the fourth round of the talks that the United States regards the DPRK as a sovereign state and has no intention to send troops to or attack it.

    The US statement was of particular concern to the DPRK, who over the past years has repeatedly asked the United States to respect its sovereignty and normalize political and economic relations with it, while offering "definite assurance" of non-aggression against it.

    The six nations, China, the DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan, have agreed to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but are yet to decide on the approach to the goal.

    To find a solution to disputes, the six nations held three rounds of talks in Beijing from 2003 to 2004, but failed to achieve substantial results. The fourth round was originally planned in September last year.

    Early this year, the new Bush administration called the DPRK an "outpost of tyranny." In return, the DPRK announced on Feb. 10 it was suspending its participation in the six-party talks on the nuclear issue for an "indefinite period."

    The DPRK also declared that it already had self-defensive nuclear weapons.

    In his opening address Tuesday morning, Hill said nuclear weapons would not make the DPRK safer.

    "Nuclear weapons will not make the DPRK more secure and in fact on the contrary, nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula will only increase tensions in the region and threaten the integrity of the global non-proliferation regime." he said.

    "The six-party talks offer a better future for the DPRK." He said. If the DPRK decided to dismantle its nuclear program "permanently, fully, verifiably," the other parties including his country were prepared to take corresponding measures consistent with the principle of words for words and actions for actions.

    In the past year when the six-party talks were suspended, the US side had bilateral contact with the DPRK for six times under the framework of the six-party talks.

    Hill said the US side had made clear its key stance and opinions to the DPRK through those contacts and the United States was ready for "serious" talks under the same framework.

    Meanwhile, DPRK's delegation head Kim Kye-gwan said political will and strategic resolution are needed to wipe out the threats of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula and to realize a nuclear-weapon-free Korean Peninsula.

    The DPRK is ready for that, he said, adding that the DPRK side would work together with the other five parties to prevent the meeting from going fruitless.

    As the host country, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing urged negotiators to take a "flexible and pragmatic" attitude to seek "positive" progress in the new round of negotiation.

    A nuclear-weapon-free Korean Peninsula and long-term peace and stability in the region would serve the interests of all parties concerned, Li said.

    Noting there might be various difficulties during the talks, he said, so long as all sides worked together there would be success.

    "Nothing in the world is difficult for one who sets his mind on it," he quoted a Chinese saying. "China will continue to work with all sides for realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and regional peace and stability."

    The ROK delegation urged all the negotiators to concentrate on the nuclear issue.

    "It is not ideal for the parties concerned to distract from this target (of building a nuclear-weapons-free Korean Peninsula) during the new round of the six-party talks," said Song Min-soon, the ROK's delegation head and deputy foreign minister.

    However, Japan's chief negotiator Sasae Kenichiro still raised the abduction issue at the opening session, saying outstanding issues of concern such as nuclear missiles and abduction should be resolved in a comprehensive manner.

    Russian delegation head Alexander Alexeyev said the "package solution" to the nuclear issue that Russia had proposed had not lost its feasibility, and Russia was willing to revise it if necessary.

    Russia proposed a package solution to the issue in the previous rounds, including to create a nuclear-weapon-free Korean Peninsula and provide security guarantee for every country in the region, including the DPRK.

    The only feasible way to resolve the issue is to hold diplomatic talks in accordance with the spirit of mutual respect, mutual understanding and equality, and take the concerns of all sides into consideration, he said.

    A series of one-to-one meetings were held among delegations after the opening of the talks, for which no deadline has been set. This, as some analysts say, demonstrated the determination of the parties in seeking progress instead of going away from problems. Enditem

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