US: Talks hinge on DPRK's attitude

Updated: 2011-12-16 07:05

By Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily)

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BEIJING - A new round of bilateral talks aimed at reviving the stalled Six-Party Talks depends on the behavior of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), a visiting US special envoy for the DPRK said on Thursday.

Glyn Davies, the US special representative on Korean policy, told reporters before leaving Beijing that the behavior includes ceasing "their proactive actions, (living) up to their obligations under the 2005 joint statement, and the obligation posed upon them by the two relevant resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council".

Davies met Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei, during his three-day stay, which marked the last leg of his first Asia tour since he replaced Stephen Bosworth in October.

Bosworth held bilateral talks with the DPRK in Geneva in October, during which he said the two countries narrowed their differences on several points and explored differences on other points.

At a news briefing on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said China hopes to work with other parties to create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks, which also involve China, Russia, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

"It is in line with all parties' interests to restart the talks as soon as possible, and resolve all parties' concerns through negotiations," Liu said.

A day earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also called on all parties "to promote a politically conducive atmosphere" for an early resumption.

"The Six-Party Talks had been playing a very important role, a crucial role, in addressing (DPRK) nuclear issues, and there was a joint statement, which had not been, unfortunately, implemented," Ban said.

Another senior US diplomat, the State Department special envoy for human rights in the DPRK Robert King, was also in Beijing on Thursday. King met DPRK officials, including Ri Gun, chief of the American Affairs Bureau of the DPRK Foreign Ministry, to discuss Washington's conditions for resuming aid halted in 2009 amid disagreements over transparency and monitoring, Reuters reported.

The US is concerned whether the aid "goes to the populations that need it", Davies said.

Davies said King's talks in Beijing would center on the "modalities" of providing food aid. However, he said the food aid issue is "relatively straightforward" and "there's no reason that these talks will be long and protracted and drawn out".

Rising global commodity prices, coupled with summer floods and typhoons, have compounded the DPRK's food shortage, and the UN estimated in March that more than 6 million people in the DPRK urgently needed food aid.

US officials have repeatedly denied any link between the food aid talks and the nuclear talks.

Zhang Liangui, a professor of international strategic research at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, agreed that the food aid talks and the nuclear talks were separate issues, adding that political conditions should not be attached to the issue of providing humanitarian aid.

But he said the resumption of the Six-Party Talks is still not in sight, given that the US and the DPRK have difficulty reaching a consensus on the preconditions for the resumption of the talks.

"The DPRK said the issue of ceasing uranium enrichment activities should be discussed at the resumed Six-Party Talks, while the US and ROK insisted the activities should be halted before the talks," Zhang said.

Although he refused to disclose a timetable for the next bilateral talks with the DPRK, Davis said the "good and in-depth" discussion he had with his Chinese counterparts offered "a good basis of understanding what we need do to achieve the goal of the Six-Party Talks".

China Daily