Tags: Obama | envoy | NKorea | talks | nuclear

White House Vows No NKorea Concessions

Tuesday, 08 Dec 2009 10:37 PM


WASHINGTON - The United States renewed its call Tuesday for North Korea to return to the six-party talks on ending its nuclear weapons programs, saying a peace treaty and any other issues should be discussed within the six-nation format.

"We will make clear to them that -- should they return to the six-party process, and should they reaffirm their commitments under the 2005 joint communique, then there is available to them a robust channel for bilateral dialogue, with which we can discuss a wide range of issues," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said. "On the issue of a peace treaty, obviously the United
States is not the only party to that peace treaty. That would have to be done in a multilateral context."

Crowley was speaking about the ongoing trip to Pyongyang by Stephen Bosworth, special representative for North Korea policy, on the resumption of the six-party talks, deadlocked over U.N. sanctions for the North's missile and nuclear tests.

The spokesman said that the U.S. is ready to help North Korea join the international community and improve its economy if it returns to the six-party talks.

"Within that dialogue, you know, we can see and can look at how we could help, you know, North Korea end its isolation and have the kinds of normal relationships that we and others have with countries around the world," he said.

Crowley said Bosworth had meetings with North Korean officials Tuesday, but added he had "not a lot to report."

"I would say that the primary meetings that we expect on this visit will occur tomorrow," he said. "We would not expect to have communication with them until they return to Seoul."

Bosworth is expected to meet with Kang Sok-ju, first vice foreign minister, the immediate superior to North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye-gwan.

Crowley would not confirm that.

"We have been promised in our preparatory work with the North Koreans that there would be high-level, authoritative interactions, you know, with North Korean officials. We had a sense of who they were going to talk to... We'll go through that once they're out of Pyongyang."

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