December 18, 2009 09:27
The U.S. special representative for North Korea policy Stephen Bosworth discussed prospects of a peace treaty with officials during his recent visit to Pyongyang.
In a briefing at the State Department on Wednesday, Bosworth said, "We talked specifically about what kind of conditions would be necessary to move into a peace treaty negotiation."
"The commitment to move toward a new arrangement, a peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula, is a commitment that all six parties accepted in the joint statement of September 2005," he recalled. The Korean War never officially ended but was merely halted by an armistice 55 years ago.
"When we do come back to the six-party talks, one of the first challenges is going to be to agree on an overall sequencing of the denuclearization, the move toward a new peace regime, a peace treaty, the provision of energy and economic assistance, normalization of relations, the establishment of some sort of a structure for Northeast Asian security," Bosworth said.
He added he "found that the talks were quite positive." His statement suggests that the U.S. promised to immediately begin discussion on a peace treaty in return for the North's acquiescence to resumption of the six-party talks, a diplomatic source in Washington speculated. The U.S. administration had so far insisted that a peace regime can be discussed only after there is some progress in denuclearization.
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