North Korea-U.S. Talks

April 29, 2003

On April 25, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) released a statement which read, in part:

"The DPRK-U.S. talks on the nuclear issue was held in Beijing from April 23 to 25, presided over by China, the host country." . . .

"At the talks the DPRK set forth a new bold proposal to clear up bilateral concerns of the DPRK and the U.S., the parties concerned with the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, at the same time."

"The U.S., however, repeated its old assertion that the DPRK should "scrap its nuclear program before dialogue" without advancing any new proposal at the talks. And it persistently avoided the discussion on the essential issues to be discussed between both sides."

"As the DPRK set out a new proposal for the settlement of the nuclear issue, proceeding from its stand to avert a war on the Korean Peninsula and achieve lasting peace and stability, it will follow the U.S. future attitude toward it."

A day earlier, on April 24, the Korean Central News Agency, in a commentary on the talks between the DPRK and the U.S. wrote:

"The U.S. should show its political will to make a bold switchover in its hostile policy toward the DPRK and prove it in practice. This is the master key to making the talks fruitful to satisfy the expectation and concern on the international community."

"It is universally known that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is a product of the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK and, therefore, an end to the hostile relations is the most important conditions for the settlement of the issue."

"The DPRK-U.S. joint statement and the DPRK-U.S. agreed framework were published and certain progress could be made in the bilateral relations in the past because the Clinton administration officially clarified its political will to terminate the hostile relations between the two countries and put it into practice."

"The bilateral relations reached rock-bottom as the Bush administration singled out the DPRK as a part of "an axis of evil" and the target of its preemptive attack after its emergence."

"In actuality, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is so tense that a war may break out any moment due to the U.S. moves."

"The Iraqi war launched by the U.S. despite the international community's unanimous opposition teaches all the sovereign states the lesson that there should be only a strong physical deterrent force to protect the sovereignty of the country and the nation. The inspection and disarmament forced by the U.S. upon an independent state in violation of its sovereignty and its right to existence without any proper reason and ground are only aimed to justify and legalize aggression and war."

"If the existence of any "weapons of mass destruction" and capability to develop them and other military capabilities should be considered as preconditions for a war and terrorism and the proliferation of weapons harassing the global peace and posing threat to other countries as far as state relations are concerned, it goes without saying that such military capability of the U.S. should be verifiably inspected before any other country."

"The DPRK-U.S. talks should, therefore, discuss and settle the issue of the U.S. renunciation of its hostile intention and policy toward the DPRK before talking about the "verification" and the dismantlement of physical deterrent force."

"The past DPRK-U.S. dialogue failed to settle fundamental issues as detente gave way to escalated tensions in the bilateral relations due to the U.S. hostile policy."

"Clear and consistent is the principled stand of the DPRK to settle the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula."