Tags: Seoul | Calls | for | US-N.Korea | Talks

Seoul Calls for US-N.Korea Talks

Monday, 10 September 2001 12:00 AM

U.S. special envoy for Korean peace talks Jack Prichard told South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choi Sung-hong that a U.S.-North Korea dialogue will help secure peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

Talks between North Korea and the United States had made some progress last year but stalled when President George W. Bush announced a hard-line stance toward North Korea and ruled out an early resumption of dialogue with the country early this year. The U.S.-North Korea tensions had led to a stalemate in inter-Korean relations.

Breaking a months-long deadlock, the two Koreas agreed to resume four days of high-level talks beginning Saturday in Seoul to review reconciliation efforts and discuss cooperation projects. Prichard said Washington would plan how it would talk with the North after the inter-Korean talks. Choi pledged to raise the issue of Washington-Pyongyang relations at the ministerial talks and Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo urged the North Korea to resume security talks with the United States.

Prichard, who arrived in South Korea on Saturday. also met with officials from the Unification Ministry. The U.S. envoy and South Korean officials agreed to maintain close coordination ahead of October's planned summit between the allies. Bush is scheduled to travel to Seoul on his way to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Shanghai.

Charles Kartman, executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, also planned to visit North Korea this week to review the 1994 nuclear agreement. In Seoul, Kartman met his South Korean counterpart, Chang Sun-sup, to discuss a nuclear project in the North. Under the 1994 deal, the United States and its allies agreed to give North Korea two 1,000-megawatt light-water reactors in return for Pyongyang's pledge to put on hold its Soviet-designed weapon-grade plutonium producing graphite-moderated reactors.

Bush has said new talks with Pyongyang would center on improved implementation of the nuclear deal.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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U.S. special envoy for Korean peace talks Jack Prichard told South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choi Sung-hong that a U.S.-North Korea dialogue will help secure peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. Talks between North Korea and the United States had made some...
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Monday, 10 September 2001 12:00 AM
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