Official statements for second round of six-party talks

North Korea United States China Russia

North Korea

DPRK Foreign Ministry Spokesman on Six-way Talks

Korean Central News Agency, Pyongyang, February 29, 2004.

Pyongyang, February 29 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK today gave the following answer to a question put by KCNA as regards the six-way talks held in Beijing: The six-way talks on the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S. took place in Beijing from February 25 to 28.

We attended the talks with expectation that a frank discussion on ways of seeking a solution to the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S. would open a certain prospect of settling the issue.

Hence, we showed greatest magnanimity, clarifying its transparent will to scrap its nuclear program according to a proposal for a simultaneous package solution aimed to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and advancing fair and flexible proposals for implementing measures for the first-phase actions.

China, Russia and other participants in the talks, therefore, expressed support and understanding of our reasonable proposal.

However, the U.S. again insisted on its old assertion about the DPRK's abandoning its nuclear program first, saying that it can discuss the DPRK's concerns only when it completely scraps its nuclear program in a verifiable and irreversible manner. This threw a big hurdle in the way of the talks.

It also absurdly asserted that it can not normalize relations with the DPRK unless missile, conventional weapons, biological and chemical weapons, human rights and other issues are settled even after its abandonment of all its nuclear programs.

The attitude of the U.S. side towards the talks increased our disappointment.

The U.S. side unhesitatingly said that it was not willing to negotiate with the DPRK, far from showing any sincere intention to settle the issue.

The head of its delegation only read the prepared script without stammering and showed no sincerity, giving no answer even to the questions raised.

The U.S. did not show any stand to co-exist with the DPRK in peace as it did during the six-way talks held in August last year but once again disclosed its ulterior aim to persistently pursue its policy of isolating and stifling the DPRK, wasting time behind the scene of the dialogue.

The U.S. seems to calculate that the DPRK will collapse of its own accord if it wastes time, putting pressure upon the DPRK undergoing economic difficulties. This is little short of a behavior of a bat-blind person who knows nothing of the DPRK.

The socialist system of Korean style which is guided by the Juche idea and where the entire army and all the people are single-heartedly united, true to the Songun politics, will never shake in any tempest.

The U.S. seems to waste time in a bid to attain its political purpose but any delay in the solution of the nuclear issue would cause nothing unfavorable to the DPRK.

This would give us time to take all necessary measures with an increased pace.

Any further six-way talks will not prove helpful to the solution of the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S. unless the U.S. shows its will to make a switchover in its policy toward the DPRK.

In spite of this situation we consented to the time to open the next round of the six-way talks and to the issue of organizing a working group proceeding from the sincere and patient stand to seek a negotiated peaceful solution of the nuclear issue at any cost.

It is difficult to expect that any further talks would help find a solution to the issue.

The settlement of the nuclear issue will entirely depend on the change in the U.S. attitude.


United States

Opening Remarks Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

James Kelly, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Washington, DC, March 2, 2004.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to review our efforts to deal with the threat that North Korea’s nuclear programs pose to regional peace and security and to the global non-proliferation regime. Having just returned from the six-party talks in Beijing, I am grateful to have the chance to discuss with you our work, together with like-minded countries at the talks, toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

The multilateral process is off to a very good start. The false notion that North Korean nuclear weapons are the unique concern of the United States is all but gone. Our goal -- complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement of North Korean nuclear programs -- has been dubbed by the South Koreans "CVID," and that acronym and the important goal it represents has been accepted by all but the North Koreans. And with each of the countries having large and direct interest in the issue, the process is unusually well focused.

The first round of six-party talks, in August 2003, provided the opportunity for governments directly concerned with the Korean Peninsula, and the nuclear issue in particular, to state their positions authoritatively before all of the other parties. This created a solid baseline from which we are working together to bring about a diplomatic solution to the problem.

We began the second round last Wednesday, February 25, with hope for concrete progress that would lay the basis to continue moving forward. I am pleased to report that the talks are working to our benefit and are moving a serious process forward. The parties agreed to regularize the six-party talks, to convene a third round of talks before June, and to establish a working group to continue our efforts in the interim.

This is a good foundation on which we can build in future rounds. Key, substantive differences do remain that will need to be addressed in further rounds of discussions. However, we worked closely with our partners in the talks and were pleased with the high degree of cooperation among us. Most importantly, we kept the talks focused on our objective: the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear programs, by which we mean both plutonium and uranium enrichment-based programs. It was clear by the conclusion of the talks that this is now very much on the table.

The onus is on the D.P.R.K. to demonstrate its commitment to abandoning its nuclear programs by being forthcoming about the entirety of its efforts, including uranium enrichment. The other five parties are all in full agreement on this fundamental idea. North Korea heard what it needs to do in sessions with all parties represented, and it heard it from us in direct encounters on the margins of the formal sessions. By the way, after these encounters, I was quick to brief the other parties. Transparency is an important part of the six-party talks, and essential to its core premises.

These accomplishments are evidence of a very different, promising atmosphere at this round. All parties came prepared to be blunt about their positions, but also ready and willing to take on board the concerns of the other parties. The North Koreans came to the table denying a uranium enrichment program and complaining about the inflexibility of the U.S. position, but they have gone along with the institutionalization of the process.

The achievements from the talks are in no small part due to the extensive efforts of the Chinese. They have worked as intermediaries to bring about and host this second round, and we are extremely grateful for the hard work they have been doing. More importantly, China has been active as a participant and makes clear it will not accept nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. The Republic of Korea has also made a valuable commitment. It would offer fuel relief to the North if there were a halt or "freeze" of the nuclear programs. But South Korea has made clear that any such freeze is but a temporary measure toward the larger goal, and will have to be complete and verifiable.

We will continue working side by side with the Chinese, the Russians, and our Japanese and South Korean allies to reach the result we seek. We have already begun to discuss next steps, and will be actively consulting with China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Russia in preparation for the next round and the intersessional working group.

The process of transforming the situation on the Korean Peninsula in the interest of all these parties must begin with a fundamental decision by the D.P.R.K. The D.P.R.K. needs to make a strategic choice for transformed relations with the United States and the world -- as other countries have done, including quite recently -- to abandon all of its nuclear programs. We also made clear that there are other issues that, as the nuclear issue begins to unfold, can be discussed with the U.S. Missiles, conventional forces, and serious human rights concerns could be discussed, and progress could lead to full normalization.

There is also something else important that is beginning with the six-party talks. As the Committee knows, the numerous and intensive security dialogues of Europe are not matched in East Asia, where the only comparable institution is the annual and slow-growing ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Northeast Asia has had no such event. But the chemistry of articulating interests in a direct but respectful way -- on an equal footing -- is developing at the six-party talks in a way that I anticipate will someday pass beyond the D.P.R.K. nuclear issue.

In his February 11 remarks at the National Defense University, President Bush called on other governments engaged in covert nuclear arms programs to follow the affirmative example of Libya. As he put it, "Abandoning the pursuit of illegal weapons can lead to better relations with the United States, and other free nations. Continuing to seek those weapons will not bring security or international prestige, but only political isolation, economic hardship and other unwelcome consequences," the President declared.

The Libyan case demonstrates, as President Bush has said, that "leaders who abandon the pursuit of (WMD and their delivery means) will find an open path to better relations with the United States and other free nations.... When leaders make the wise and responsible choice...., they serve the interest of their own people and they add to the security of all nations." Indeed, last week the U.S. responded to Libya's concrete steps to repudiate weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by easing certain bilateral restrictions to encourage Libya to continue on its current path.

We discussed Libya's example with our North Korean counterparts, and we hope they understand its significance. Once North Korea's nuclear issue is resolved, discussions would be possible on a wide range of issues that could lead to an improvement in relations.

Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to meet with the Committee today. We remain convinced that our multilateral diplomatic approach is correct and will bear fruit, though we know that more work is ahead. The President is committed to the six-party talks. We are offering North Korea a chance to choose a path toward international responsibility. We hope we and our partners in the six-party talks can bring North Korea to understand it is in its own interest to take the opportunity. We will continue to work closely with the Committee as we proceed.

I'll be happy to take any questions that you have.



Chairman's Statement for the 2nd Round of Six-Party Talks

February 28, 2004.

The following is the full text of the Chairman's Statement for the Second Round of Six-Party Talks on the Korean nuclear issue.

1. The second round of six-party talks was held in Beijing among the People's Republic of China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America from 25th to 28th of February, 2004.

2. The heads of delegations were Mr. Wang Yi, vice minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC; Mr. Kim Kye-gwan, vice minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of DPRK; Ambassador Mitoji Yabunaka, director-general for the Asian and Oceanian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; Ambassador Lee Soo-Hyuck, deputy minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the ROK; Ambassador Alexander Losiukov, vice minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia; Mr. James Kelly, assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, United States Department of State.

3. The Parties agreed that the second round of the six-party talks had launched the discussion on substantive issues, which was beneficial and positive, and that the attitudes of all parties were serious in the discussion. Through the talks, while differences remained, the Parties enhanced their understanding of each other's positions.

4. The Parties expressed their commitment to a nuclear--weapon-free Korean Peninsula, and to resolving the nuclear issue peacefully through dialogue in a spirit of mutual respect and consultations on an equal basis, so as to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the region at large.

5. The Parties expressed their willingness to coexist peacefully. They agreed to take coordinated steps to address the nuclear issue and address the related concerns.

6. The Parties agreed to continue the process of the talks and agreed in principle to hold the third round of the six-party talks in Beijing no later than the end of the second quarter of 2004. They agreed to set up a working group in preparation for the plenary. The terms of reference of the working group will be established through diplomatic channels.

7. The delegations of the DPRK, Japan, the ROK, Russia and the USA have expressed their appreciation to the Chinese side for the efforts aimed at the successful staging of the two rounds of the six-party talks.



On Six-Way Talks Second Round Held in Beijing

Information and Press Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moscow, February 28, 2004.

The second round of six-way talks on the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula was held in Beijing on February 25-28, with delegations from the Russian Federation, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United States of America, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and Japan in attendance. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Losyukov headed the Russian delegation.

The results of the talks were summed up in a statement by their chairman - PRC Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.

In particular, the sides have reaffirmed that their aim is to ensure the nuclear-weapons-free status of the Korean Peninsula by peaceful means through dialogue in a spirit of mutual respect.

The sides agreed to move towards the goal set on the basis of coordinated steps and with due consideration for mutual concerns.

Agreement was reached in principle to hold the third round of six-way talks in Beijing before the end of the second quarter of the current year and to set up a working group for its preparation.

Moscow considers the talks useful and expresses readiness to do everything necessary for solving the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula along with ensuring the security of the DPRK and providing normal conditions for its economic and social development.