Keynote Speeches Made at Six-way Talks

The following is reprinted from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), August 30, 2003

Heads of delegations to the six-way talks on the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S. made keynote speeches at the talks opened in Beijing on August 27. Assistant State Secretary James Kelly, head of the U.S. delegation, said that the U.S. immediate purpose is to ensure that the north Korean nuclear program is eliminated in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. He added that the U.S. can discuss security assurances and political and economic benefits only when the DPRK eliminates its nuclear weapons program completely, verifiably and irreversibly.

Noting that the U.S. would not pursue the bilateral talks with the DPRK for the solution to the nuclear issue, he said: Once the DPRK's nuclear weapons program is eliminated, the U.S. is prepared to start bilateral negotiations on a series of issues, including missiles, conventional weapons, counterfeiting and drug smuggling, terrorism, human rights and abduction. That would be aimed to normalize the bilateral relations.

The conclusion of any non-aggression treaty is neither appropriate nor necessary. The U.S. is, therefore, not interested in it. Once the DPRK's verifiable and irreversible abandonment of the nuclear weapons program is confirmed, the U.S. would be ready to discuss security concerns with other countries at the next talks.

Kim Yong Il, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, who is leading the DPRK delegation to the six-way talks on the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S., in his keynote speech made clear the principled stand on the settlement of the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S.

He said:

The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is the general goal of the DPRK. It is not our goal to have nuclear weapons.

The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was our initiative and it is our consistent stand and the desire of all Koreans to realise it. The U.S. is, however, standing in its way.

If the nuclear issue between the two countries is to be peacefully settled through dialogue the U.S. should make a radical switchover in its policy toward the DPRK.

This is a master key to and a precondition for the settlement of the nuclear issue

The Bush administration openly disclosed its attempt to use nuclear weapons after listing the DPRK as part of "an axis of evil" and a target of a "preemptive nuclear attack."

This prompted us to judge that the Bush administration is going to stifle our system by force and decide to build a strong deterrent force to cope with it. Hence, we determined to possess that force. Our deterrent force is not aimed to attack somebody without any proper reason. It is a means for self-defence to protect our sovereignty.

We can dismantle our nuclear program if the U.S. makes a switchover in its hostile policy towards us and does not pose any threat to us.

The benchmark for our judgement that the U.S. no longer antagonizes us will be provided only when a non-aggression treaty is concluded between the DPRK and the U.S., diplomatic relations opened between them and the U.S. does not obstruct our economic dealing with other countries.

The non-aggression treaty called for by us is by no means to demand "security assurances," but to have a non-aggression treaty with legal biding force whereby both signatories commit themselves to non-aggression.

The U.S. can not shirk its responsibility for having suspended the implementation of the agreed framework.

We have fully fulfilled our commitment to freeze our nuclear facility since the adoption of the agreed framework.

Kelly who came to the DPRK as a special envoy of President Bush in October 2002, failing to present any specific "evidence", groundlessly pulled us up, using coercive words and rudely behaving ignoring the Oriental custom. He claimed that we have secretly pushed forward an enriched uranium program in breach of the Agreed Framework.

In this regard we made it clear that we have no secret nuclear program but we are entitled to have weapons more powerful than those based on enriched uranium. We have powerful weapons, including single-hearted unity. After Kelly's Pyongyang visit, the U.S. misled the public opinion, saying that we admitted to the secret nuclear program and unilaterally stopped the supply of heavy fuel oil from November, 2002.

The DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework concluded in October 1994 was thus nullified due to the U.S. unilateral refusal to fulfil its commitments.

The DPRK has abided by the principle that the measures for settling the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S. should be implemented by simultaneous actions.

These actions provide a realistic way of realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Any opposition to the simultaneous actions would mean opposing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and, furthermore, can not be construed otherwise than a revelation of an intention to disarm the DPRK and swallow it up. "Early inspection" can never be accepted in any case, he said, setting out our proposal for a package solution to the nuclear issue and the order of simultaneous actions.

He further said:

For a package solution, the U.S. should conclude a non-aggression treaty with the DPRK, establish diplomatic relations with it and guarantee the economic cooperation between the DPRK and Japan and between the north and the south of Korea. And it should also compensate for the loss of electricity caused by the delayed provision of light water reactors and complete their construction.

For this, the DPRK should not make nuclear weapons and allow the nuclear inspection, finally dismantle its nuclear facility, put on ice the missile testfire and stop its export.

According to the order of simultaneous actions, the U.S. should resume the supply of heavy fuel oil, sharply increase the humanitarian food aid while the DPRK should declare its will to scrap its nuclear program.

According to this order, we will allow the refreeze of our nuclear facility and nuclear substance and monitoring and inspection of them from the time the U.S. has concluded a non-aggression treaty with the DPRK and compensated for the loss of electricity.

We will settle the missile issue when diplomatic relations are opened between the DPRK and the U.S. and between the DPRK and Japan.

And we will dismantle our nuclear facility from the time the LWRs are completed.

Clarifying the principled stand of the DPRK on finding a solution to the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S., our delegation would like to advance the following proposal prompted by the desire to make the six-way talks fruitful.

First, the DPRK and the U.S. should make clear their will to clear up bilateral concerns.

The DPRK will clarify its will to dismantle its nuclear program if the U.S. makes clear its will to give up its hostile policy toward the DPRK.

Second, all the countries participating in the six-way talks should agree on the principle to implement the measures for solving the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S. through simultaneous actions.

If our reasonable proposal is turned aside at the talks, we will judge that the U.S. does not intend to give up its attempt to stifle the DPRK by force at an appropriate time while persistently insisting the DPRK "scrap its nuclear program first" to waste time.

In this case the DPRK can not dismantle its nuclear deterrent force but will have no option but to increase it. Whether the nuclear issue will be settled or not depends on the U.S. attitude.

Chinese, Russian, south Korean and Japanese sides made keynote remarks at the talks.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi, head of the Chinese delegation, said the nuclear issue should be solved peacefully, adding that the conclusion of a non-aggression treaty, peaceful co-existence and normalization of relations with the U.S. and the establishment of economic and trade relations with other countries proposed by the DPRK are a positive, constructive, just and rational offer. He noted that the conclusion of the non-aggression treaty should be settled through the DPRK-U.S. direct talks and the issues of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and security concerns raised by the DPRK should be solved simultaneously. It is important to achieve durable peace on the Korean peninsula by establishing a peace mechanism on the peninsula with the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue as a momentum, and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is favorable for protecting the fundamental interests of the north and the south of Korea and the stable situation in Northeast Asia, he said.

Russian Vice Foreign Minister Losyukov, head of the Russian delegation, said an emergency measure is needed to defuse the tensions on the Korean peninsula, noting that it is important to work out a "roadmap" by incorporating each other's measures.

He noted that Russia is interested in ensuring denuclearization and durable peace on the Korean peninsula and maintaining reliable security for all the countries in the region and developing the mutually beneficial cooperation.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of south Korea Lee Soo-Hyuck, head of the south Korean delegation, set out the "simultaneous action order," promising to sincerely implement the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and continue the economic aid to the DPRK on the basis of compatriotism and humanitarianism and noting the nuclear issue should be comprehensively solved.

Department Director of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mitoji Yabunaka, head of the Japanese delegation, noted that it is necessary to solve the missile and abduction issues in a comprehensive way together with the nuclear issue.

Through the keynote remarks made by each delegation at the six-way talks one may comment on the stance of each country as follows:

The DPRK reclarified its consistent stand that its goal is the denuclearization and the guarantee of peace and security on the Korean peninsula and comprehensively set out a clear orientation and specific ways for the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue including the principle of simultaneous actions.

The DPRK set the goal of dropping its nuclear program from the time the U.S. abandons its hostile policy towards the DPRK and advanced a package solution and simultaneous action order, calling for implementing all the measures to attain the goal on a phased basis on the principle of simultaneous actions.

China, Russia and south Korea also referred to the package solution and the way of simultaneous actions, urging the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue.

Japan took the attitude to use the six-way talks for meeting its political interests, focusing on the abduction issue rather than the settlement of the nuclear issue. The prevailing tone of the keynote remarks is that it is imperative to achieve denuclearization and peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, peacefully solve the nuclear issue and to this end give a package solution to all issues of concerns between the DPRK and the U.S. on a phased basis on the principle of simultaneous actions.

But regrettably, the United States flatly refused such views.

The United States opposed the package solution and the principle of simultaneous actions instead of expressing its will to make a practical switchover in its policy.

It is the U.S. stand that only when the DPRK scraps its nuclear program first the U.S. can discuss issues of security assurances and economic aid and the issues of missile, conventional weapons, human rights and other issues should be discussed if the DPRK wants to normalize the relations with the U.S. even after it completely abandons its nuclear program.

The United States said the next talks can take place only when the DPRK expresses its intention to scrap its nuclear program.

In the final analysis, the U.S. would move only after the DPRK is completely disarmed.

It is against common sense to raise such a demand to its counterpart at the talks when the DPRK and the U.S. are standing in confrontation with each other with arms and this raises a serious question as to its true intention.

The DPRK cannot but interpret this otherwise than a U.S. intention to invade it after it is disarmed.

It is a brigandish like demand beyond the tolerance limit.

It has become clearer through the six-way talks that the United States is forcing the DPRK to disarm, while persistently pursuing its hostile policy toward the DPRK.

In fact, the DPRK hoped that an agreement was reached between them at the talks whereby the DPRK could be able to express its will to scrap its nuclear program in return for the U.S. manifestation of its will to make a policy switchover at least and the hard-won dialogue would go on.

As such expectation was betrayed, it is not difficult to guess how the DPRK will react to it.

By flatly refusing to exchange even words expressing the will to make policy switchover, the United States put the prospect of the next talks at peril.