Tags: Obama.envoy | Korea | talks

Obama Envoy Tries Again to Woo NKorea

Monday, 22 Feb 2010 10:41 PM


WASHINGTON — US special envoy Stephen Bosworth is due to leave Tuesday for China, South Korea and Japan amid a surge in diplomatic activity aimed at bringing North Korea back to nuclear disarmament talks.

In further consultations on North Korea, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host a meeting in Washington on Friday with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan, Clinton's spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

Bosworth, the special envoy for North Korea, and his chief negotiator Sung Kim will leave Washington on Tuesday for "stops in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo" as part of the six-party disarmament process, Crowley said.

The two remaining members in the negotiating process are Russia and North Korea, but Crowley said there were no plans for Bosworth and Kim to visit those countries.

No dates were given for Bosworth and Kim's visits to the three Asian capitals, but a State Department official told reporters that one of the two US envoys was due to return in time for the Clinton-Yu meeting on Friday.

In Seoul, the foreign ministry said Monday that South Korea's nuclear envoy Wi Sung-Lac will visit Beijing this week for talks with Chinese officials about bringing North Korea back to six-party disarmament talks.

North Korea bolted the talks in April last year after it was censured by the United Nations for launching a long-range rocket.

Wi will stay in Beijing Tuesday and Wednesday to meet Chinese officials who held talks with their North Korean counterparts two weeks ago.

The Chinese will brief Wi on the meetings, a ministry spokesman told AFP, and they will also discuss ways to bring Pyongyang back to the six-party forum, which it quit last April.

China, host of the stalled nuclear talks, has tried to persuade its close ally North Korea to return to the table.

Pyongyang, which tested atomic weapons in October 2006 and May 2009, has set two conditions for resuming the nuclear dialogue -- the lifting of UN sanctions and a US commitment to discuss a formal peace treaty.

The 1950-53 war ended only in an armistice.

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo say the North must return unconditionally and show commitment to scrapping its nuclear program before other issues are dealt with.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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