U.S., China Discuss Possible North Korea Nuclear Talks

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 11, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

U.S. and Chinese dip­lo­mats on Wed­nes­day dis­cussed ef­forts by Beijing to re­in­vig­or­ate a long-para­lyzed pro­cess aimed at shut­ter­ing North Korea’s nuc­le­ar weapons pro­gram, the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted.

In Beijing, Glyn Dav­ies, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s spe­cial en­voy for North Korea policy, met with his Chinese coun­ter­part, Wu Da­wei. China wants the United States to take part in semi-form­al talks that it has pro­posed host­ing next week with four ad­di­tion­al na­tions: Ja­pan, both Koreas and Rus­sia.

The six-party talks are aimed at con­vin­cing North Korea to per­man­ently close its nuc­le­ar weapons pro­gram in ex­change for con­sid­er­able for­eign-eco­nom­ic as­sist­ance and in­ter­na­tion­al-se­cur­ity guar­an­tees. Wash­ing­ton and Seoul con­tend that Py­ongy­ang has shown no sin­cere will­ing­ness to de­nuc­lear­ize, and thus ne­go­ti­ations at this time likely would be un­pro­duct­ive.

Chinese For­eign Min­istry spokes­man Hong Lei said dis­cus­sions are still tak­ing place around Beijing’s pro­pos­al to hold the so-called Track 1.5 talks on Sept. 18. “Talks are still on­go­ing,” the spokes­man said. “We will re­lease rel­ev­ant in­form­a­tion in due course.”

Mean­while, an inter-Korean busi­ness com­plex in North Korea that has been closed since the erup­tion of Korean Pen­in­sula ten­sions this spring is slated to be­gin op­er­at­ing again next week, CNN re­por­ted.

“Com­pan­ies will be­gin re-opeation from Sept. 16 on a test run,” the South Korean Uni­fic­a­tion Min­istry said in a state­ment.

Sep­ar­ately, the South Korean De­fense Min­istry plans to dis­play its new pre­ci­sion-guided cruise mis­sile in a parade in the South Korean cap­it­al in Oc­to­ber, Agence France-Presse re­por­ted on Wed­nes­day.

The do­mest­ic­ally de­signed Hyeon­mu 3 mis­sile was de­veloped for pos­sible pre­ci­sion strikes on North Korea’s stra­tegic as­sets. In the last year South Korea began field­ing it on its war­ships.

Yang Moo-jin, a pro­fess­or at the Seoul-based Uni­versity of North Korean Stud­ies, is leery that the high-pro­file dis­play of the cruise mis­sile could ant­ag­on­ize Py­ongy­ang and sour bi­lat­er­al re­la­tions that have gradu­ally im­proved since the spring.

“In light of the cur­rent situ­ation, a low-key event is more de­sir­able than a large-scale parade which is likely to ir­rit­ate the North,” the aca­dem­ic said.

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