North Korea details its plan to end crisis

Posted in Koreas , Asia | 30-Aug-03 | Author: Ser Myo-ja| Source: Joong Ang Daily

BEIJING - Proposing four steps to end the nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea has offered a comprehensive settlement with the United States that would lead to the dismantling of Pyeongyang’s weapons program.
The details of the proposal were contained in the text of North Korea’s keynote address at the six-party talks here on the crisis. The text was obtained by the JoongAng Ilbo.
Kim Yong-il, North Korea’s deputy foreign minister and the chief delegate of the talks, presented the proposal to the delegates of China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States on Wednesday.
North Korea identified the four steps which it and the United States would take simultaneously to bring an end eventually to the nuclear programs at the core of the crisis.
“First, we will declare our intention to give up the nuclear program in return for Washington’s resumption of fuel oil supply and expanded humanitarian food aid,” Mr. Kim’s keynote statement said.
As a second step, North Korea said it would freeze its nuclear activities and allow inspections of its facilities if the United States signs a non-aggression treaty with the Pyeongyang and compensates the North for lost energy supplies, the statement said.
In the third step, Pyeongyang will resolve concerns associated with its missile systems in return for establishing diplomatic relations with Washington and Tokyo, according to the text of the speech.
In the final step, the North said it will dismantle its nuclear facilities at the point of completion of two light-water reactors.
North Korea demanded a legally binding non-aggression pact from the United States, warning that providing a verbal assurance of its security will not do. The North also rejected the possibility of a joint security assurance by Washington, Beijing and Moscow.
The North’s proposal to the United states is not a new one.
Mr. Kim’s speech indicated that the approach was offered in April to U.S. chief delegate James Kelly when China mediated talks between the two countries here.
Firmly maintaining the four-step measure, the North Koreans also added two suggestions to conclude the six-way talks positively.
North Korea proposed that it and the United States clearly express their intentions to resolve the concerns about each other. “Ending U.S. hostile policy is the precondition to resolve this nuclear issue,” the North’s statement said. “In return for the U.S. announcement that it will sign a non-aggression treaty and establish diplomatic relations with North Korea and that it will not disturb economic exchanges between the North and other countries, we will make public our intention to give up the nuclear programs.”
North Korea also urged that all participants of the six-way talks agree on the principle of acting simultaneously to resolve the crisis. The proposal is an indication that Pyeongyang said it would agree to more multilateral talks in seeking an agreement.
“Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is North Korea’s ultimate goal, and it is not our aim to possess nuclear weapons,” the North stated.
Mr. Kim’s keynote speech officially denied allegations that the North had a clandestine nuclear program, claiming that the United States unilaterally made such an assertion in October.
“Without solid evidence, the United States accused us of developing a new clandestine nuclear weapons program with uranium enrichment,” North Korea said. “We replied we have something stronger than a program with enriched uranium. We have stronger weapons, such as national solidarity.”
Delegates of the six countries continued to discuss the North’s keynote speech yesterday morning at the plenary session. A series of bilateral talks followed in the afternoon. The six countries reportedly aim to adopt a joint statement at the end of the talks, which wrap up today.