‘No meaningful talks if N.K. sticks to nuke state claim’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jun 3, 2014 - 21:20
  • Updated : Jun 3, 2014 - 21:20
A South Korean government official told reporters Monday that a meaningful dialogue in the six-party talks is out of the question as long as Pyongyang keeps describing itself as a nuclear state in its constitution and sticks to the policy of seeking nuclear weapons development and economic growth at the same time.

“North Korea should show, to some extent, seriousness on denuclearization,” the official said. “For instance, if it states a plan to abandon the policy of the simultaneous development (of nuclear weapons and economy) or removes a stipulation related to nuclear possession from the constitution, it could be an important progress.”
Hwang Joon-kook (right), special representative for Korean peninsular peace and security affairs at the Foreign Ministry, and Glyn Davies, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, pose after their talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and a stalled six-party denuclearization forum in Washington on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

The official added South Korea and China will soon have high-level discussions on conditions for the resumption of the six-party talks that also involve Russia.

Earlier in the day Hwang Joon-kook, Seoul’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, met with his American counterpart Glyn Davies.

Hwang said they agreed to cooperate more closely with China in efforts to revive the six-way talks.

“(Regarding the resumption of the six-party talks), we shared the position that it should be intended for meaningful dialogue to achieve substantial progress in denuclearizing North Korea and curbing the advancement of its nuclear capability,” Hwang told reporters, emerging from a meeting with Davies at the State Department.

Seoul and Washington plan to seek close consultation with China on the issue, he added.

Hwang’s visit here comes amid renewed concern about cooperation among the North’s dialogue partners in the nuclear talks, especially after Tokyo’s deal with Pyongyang over the abduction issue.

The North said it would reopen an investigation into the fate of those people, and Tokyo promised to lift some of the sanctions on Pyongyang.

“We agreed to continue close consultations (over the matter) under the perception that South Korea, the U.S. and Japan should maintain close coordination on the North Korean nuclear program,” Hwang said.

The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, said Washington and Seoul agreed on the “fundamental importance of a denuclearized North Korea.”

“Special Representative Hwang’s visit reflects the close cooperation between our countries and our continued focus on pursuing the verifiable denuclearization of North Korea in a peaceful manner,” Marie Harf, the department’s deputy spokeswoman, said in a readout of Hwang’s meeting with Davies.

(From news reports)