Russia, China Consider Options for Restarting Nuclear Talks with North Korea

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 23, 2013, 6:02 a.m.

Rus­sia and China in re­cent days held bi­lat­er­al talks on op­tions for re­in­vig­or­at­ing a moribund mul­tina­tion­al pro­cess aimed at per­man­ently end­ing North Korea’s nuc­le­ar-weapons work, the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted.

Wu Da­wei, China’s seni­or del­eg­ate to the six-na­tion talks, met on Monday in Beijing with his Rus­si­an coun­ter­part in the frozen ne­go­ti­ations, Ig­or Mor­gu­lov, ac­cord­ing to a Chinese For­eign Min­istry state­ment.

The two ne­go­ti­at­ors “ex­changed in-depth views on the de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion of the Korean Pen­in­sula and the re­sump­tion of the six-party talks,” the state­ment said.

The last round of the six-na­tion talks — which in­clude China, Ja­pan, North and South Korea, Rus­sia and the United States — took place in Decem­ber 2008.

The ne­go­ti­at­ing frame­work has called for re­ward­ing Py­ongy­ang for its phased shut­down of nuc­le­ar-weapon activ­it­ies with timed con­ces­sions of peace agree­ments and for­eign-eco­nom­ic aid. North Korea walked away from the talks in spring 2009, after which it rolled back earli­er nuc­le­ar-dis­man­tle­ment steps and sig­ni­fic­antly ad­vanced its weapon and mis­sile cap­ab­il­it­ies.

“We al­ways main­tain that the Korean nuc­le­ar is­sue should be solved through con­sulta­tions and ne­go­ti­ations with­in the frame­work of the six-party talks,” min­istry spokes­wo­man Hua Chun­y­ing said at a press brief­ing. “There­fore, we stay in touch with all rel­ev­ant parties.”

Beijing sup­ports re­sum­ing the ne­go­ti­ations as soon as pos­sible. However, Tokyo, Seoul and Wash­ing­ton have re­fused to re­turn to the talks un­til Py­ongy­ang demon­strates its com­mit­ment to ir­re­vers­ible de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion. In a series of re­cent semi­form­al meet­ings between former U.S. of­fi­cials, seni­or North Korean of­fi­cials are un­der­stood to have offered to im­ple­ment a morator­i­um on fur­ther nuc­le­ar and long-range mis­sile tests once the six-party talks get un­der­way.

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