China Calls for Informal Talks on N. Korea Nuclear Program

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 5, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

China wants to hold semi­form­al six-na­tion talks this month on North Korea’s nuc­le­ar weapons pro­gram and has se­cured Py­ongy­ang’s agree­ment to par­ti­cip­ate, the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted on Thursday, cit­ing an an­onym­ous in­formed source.

Beijing en­vi­sions the so-called Track 1.5 dis­cus­sions be­ing at­ten­ded by the seni­or nuc­le­ar ne­go­ti­at­ors from China, Ja­pan, the two Koreas and Rus­sia. The talks have been pro­posed for Sept. 18.

Wash­ing­ton, Tokyo and Seoul re­portedly are not en­thu­si­ast­ic about the talks pro­pos­al, giv­en a lack of sig­nals from the North that it in­tends to de­nuc­lear­ize.

“It is un­cer­tain wheth­er South Korea, the U.S. and Ja­pan would send their chief nuc­le­ar en­voys to the pro­posed meet­ing in Beijing,” the dip­lo­mat­ic in­sider told Yon­hap.

The last round of form­al six-na­tion ne­go­ti­ations was held in Decem­ber 2008. The ne­go­ti­at­ing format is fo­cused on achiev­ing the gradu­al shut­down of North Korea’s nuc­le­ar weapons-re­lated work, which would be re­war­ded with timed in­fu­sions of eco­nom­ic sup­port for and in­ter­na­tion­al se­cur­ity agree­ments with the na­tion.

The two Koreas also are slated on Fri­day to re­con­nect a two-way armed forces com­mu­nic­a­tion line that has been severed since March, Yon­hap sep­ar­ately re­por­ted.

Seoul in re­cent ne­go­ti­ations with Py­ongy­ang de­man­ded that the mil­it­ary hot­line be re­con­nec­ted. Those talks fo­cused on re­sum­ing stalled joint eco­nom­ic activ­it­ies at an in­dus­tri­al zone in­side North Korea.

On Thursday, U.S. Pres­id­ent Obama and Ja­pan­ese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe held a brief meet­ing in St. Peters­burg, Rus­sia, on the side­lines of the G-20 sum­mit. The two lead­ers were ex­pec­ted to dis­cuss the North’s nuc­le­ar work among oth­er shared se­cur­ity con­cerns, ac­cord­ing to a White House re­lease.

What We're Following See More »
Metro to Begin Rolling Closures Next Month
4 minutes ago

Beginning next month, Metro will begin a series of "about 15 separate large-scale work projects," each of which will close down stations and/or sections of track for up to weeks at a time. The entire initiative is expected to take about a year. The Washington Post has a list of the schedule of closures, and which lines and stations they'll affect.

Trump to Meet with Ryan, Leadership Next Week
11 minutes ago

A day after saying he could not yet support Donald Trump's presidential bid, House Speaker Paul Ryan has invited the billionaire to a meeting in Washington next week with House leadership. Ryan and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will also meet separately with Trump. 

Obama on Trump: ‘This Is a Really Serious Job’
30 minutes ago

"President Obama used the White House podium on Friday to dismiss Donald Trump as an unserious candidate to succeed him, and said leading the country isn't a job that's suited to reality show antics." At a briefing with reporters, the president said, "I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job. This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States. And what that means is that every candidate, every nominee needs to be subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny."

Panama Papers Spur White House to Crack Down on Evasion
2 hours ago

In the The White House on Thursday night unveiled a series of executive actions to combat money laundering—"among the most comprehensive response yet to the Panama Papers revelations." The president's orders will tighten transparency rules, close loopholes that allow "foreigners to hide financial activity behind anonymous entities in the U.S., and demand stricter “customer due diligence” rules for banks.

Who’s #NeverTrump Courting as Possible Candidates
3 hours ago

The #NeverTrump movement is now mulling the idea of recruiting a candidate to run as an independent or under a third-party banner. But who might it be? The Hill offers a preliminary list.

  • Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)
  • Mitt Romney
  • 2012 (and perhaps 2016) Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson
  • Former Marine Gen. John Kelly
  • Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)
  • Former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)