September 03, 2010 10:45
The U.S. on Wednesday set three conditions for the resumption of six-party talks aimed at North Korea's nuclear disarmament during a visit of chair country China's chief nuclear negotiator Wu Dawei.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said, "What's crucial here is what North Korea does in the coming weeks... We will be guided by what North Korea does" as far as the resumption of the six-nation talks is concerned.
He urged the North to stop provocations, implement a statement of principles agreed on Sept. 19, 2005 and dismantle its nuclear program, and take responsibility for the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in March.
"There are specific steps under the 2005 joint statement that North Korea can take to demonstrate that it is in fact committed to denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. We are prepared to engage North Korea as part of this process, but in light of the sinking of the Cheonan and other provocative steps that North Korea has taken in recent months, including nuclear tests, including missile firings, we want to see a fundamental change in North Korea's behavior."
He said Pyongyang has made things more difficult for itself. "There were some things that we were prepared to do back in the spring, and the sinking of the Cheonan made it impossible to pursue those actions. We are prepared to come back to that place, but before that is possible, we want to see North Korea fundamentally change its behavior," he said.
He also made it clear that the North should be held responsible for the sinking. "If North Korea changes its current pattern of behavior, acts more responsibly, begins to interact more constructively with other countries in the region, we will see that... as a concrete sign that North Korea is prepared to engage," Crowley added.
Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg was said to explain the three conditions to Wu Dawei and ask China to persuade the North. "We're certain that China has its own ideas on how to proceed from where we are to a better place," Crowly said. "We have our own ideas. Other countries also will have their thoughts on how to move forward. We will be consulting, as we are this week. We'll have further consultations in the upcoming weeks as we evaluate what we think the next steps should be."
In a press conference after meeting with Steinberg, Wu said, "The six-party talks are an important means to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. There will be many difficulties until we resume the talks under the current circumstances. The countries concerned should make efforts for an early resumption."
He also met with Stephen Bosworth, the special representative for North Korea policy, and Sung Kim, the special envoy for the six-party talks.
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