U.S. Discusses Six-Way Talks With North Korea’s UN Ambassador

[ rizzn’s note: Just the headline alone reminds me of the kind of insanity I had to live through at Nokia. Basically what I get from this headline is that they are having a meeting to discuss a meeting that they might have, and how many people will be there. No doubt, there was a meeting to set this one up, and a meeting to determine where the meeting would take place, etc., ad nausium… ]

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) — A U.S. envoy held talks with North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations and pressed for the communist country to return to six-nation talks on its nuclear arms program, the State Department said.

Joseph DeTrani, the special U.S. envoy for North Korea, held talks with Pak Gil Yon in New York last week, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said in Washington.

“DeTrani emphasized the importance of the six-party framework” during the meeting, Ereli said. “The focus for dealing with the North Korea nuclear program remains the six-party framework,” he told a briefing.

North Korea’s government says it is willing to abandon its nuclear arms program in exchange for the U.S. providing security guarantees. The U.S. government rejects offering incentives to persuade North Korea to join talks that will also involve China, Russia, South Korea and Japan. A first six-way meeting was hosted by China in August.

The meeting between DeTrani and the ambassador doesn’t indicate the U.S. and North Korea will begin two-way talks, Ereli said. The meeting wasn’t an “alternative to or diversion from the multilateral handling of this problem,” he said.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage met Fu Ying, China’s director general for Asian affairs, in Washington to discuss the next six-nation meeting, Ereli said.

Armitage expressed U.S. appreciation for China’s “active engagement” with North Korea on trying to bring the country to talks, Ereli said without elaborating.

No Date Set

No agreement has yet been reached on when a new round of talks will be held, Fu said after meeting Armitage.

“We look forward to fruitful discussions at the next round of six-party talks in the spirit of mutual respect and consultations on an equal footing,” she said.

Wu Bangguo, chairman of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, promised more aid to North Korea during a visit last October when North Korea agreed in principle to resume nuclear talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said at a briefing in China’s capital, Beijing.

Last Updated: January 13, 2004 18:07 EST

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