BEIJING, Dec. 18 -- The six-party talks on the Korean Peninsular nuclear
issue have been stalled since November last year. With the stakes rising over
the past few months, many consider the actual resumption of talks a diplomatic
Launched in 2003, the six-party talks aimed to find a way to make the
Korean Peninsula nuclear-free.
But the first three rounds of talks made little progress.
On September the 19th, 2005, for the first time, the six parties were able
to agree on a joint statement at the fourth round of talks.
The statement said that the DPRK should give up its nuclear programs,
rejoin the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and accept inspections by the
International Atomic Energy Agency.
It also include a declaration by the US that it had no intention of
attacking the DPRK, and that it had no nuclear weapons on the peninsula.
As Chinese vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei said, "The DPRK and U.S. sides
promise to mutually respect one another's sovereignty, enjoy peaceful
coexistence and take measures to normalize relationships based on each other's
But the entire process went back to the starting line late last year after
the first phase of the firth round of the six-party talks in November last year.
The DPRK announced that it will not attend any new talks because of U.S.
freezing of its financial accounts at a Macao bank.
Over the past 13 months, the parties involved have made continuous efforts
to restart the talks.
Then came the crisis in October this year.
The DPRK claimed it had tested its first nuclear weapon, triggering
widespread international condemnation and UN-backed sanctions.
China insisted the crisis should be handled through diplomatic means and
called on all the parties concerned to show flexibility on the issue.
On November 1st, the DPRK agreed to return to the negotiating table after
an informal meeting with the US and China in Beijing.
With this diplomatic breakthrough, the six parties are expected to hash out
details of implementing the September 2005 agreement.
Cui Tiankai, Chinese Asst. Foreign Minister, said "I think whatever it
changes, as far as China is concerned, our position will never change, we will
still stand for the denuclearation of the peninsula, maintaining of regional
peace and stability, and peaceful solution of the issues.I hope all the other
parties will follow the same principles.."
The six-party talks are a long and continuing process.
Analysts say that expecting any major breakthrough in a single meeting is
But the very resumption of the talks is a sign of encouragement.
6-party talks on DPRK's nuclear issue open on
Dec. 18 in Beijing
BEIJING, Dec. 18 -- The six-party
talks on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear issue are set to
re-open in Beijing in a few hours. Negotiators will pick up where they left off
one year ago -- seeking to implement the only agreement reached during the
previous round of talks. But the talks are expected to be extremely complex.
On the eve of the resumption of the talks, the six parties met on Sunday
evening for dinner.
Top US negotiator Christopher Hill said he had not yet had bilateral talks
with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Vice Foreign Minister, Kim
But he said the atmosphere of the banquet was "pretty good". He also said
the US and China had very good discussions about expectations on both sides for
the talks. Hill said, "I want to say that we have a very good understanding with
the Chinese about what we need to do and I think the US cooperation with the
Chinese is really excellent, as it is with the Japanese."
This is the third time in one month that the US special envoy for nuclear
talks has come to Beijing. He says he's ready for even harder talks with his
The US wants measurable progress in the direction of the DPRK implementing
the September 2005 statement. According to that agreement. Pyongyang would give
up its nuclear weapons in exchange for aid and security guarantees.
But the DPRK demands that guarantees come before any action.
Earlier, Kim Kye-gwan stated the DPRK would not abandon its nuclear
weapons, until the US dropped its "hostile policy" towards it. He said, "The
reason why there is friction between the DPRK and the US is not because we made
nuclear weapons, but because of the US policy."
Such disagreements between the two sides have cast a cloud over the
prospects for the talks.
But the other parties are cautiously optimistic about the possible outcome.
ROK chief negotiator Chun Yung-Woo said, "Whether to catch this chance or
lose totally depends on the participating nation's political will."
Russia's Ambassador to China, Sergey Razov, will head up the Russian
delegation. And Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will serve as China's top
They're calling for all sides to pool their wisdom and work together for