Monday, December 04, 2006

The US and Korea enter Direct Talks

Direct US, North Korea talks give new glimmer of hope

by P. Parameswaran Sun Dec 3, 4:57 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - One month after North Korea agreed to return to multilateral nuclear talks following its defiant atomic weapons test, the six-nation dialogue remains stalled. But few are complaining. This is because the United States and North Korea, the key parties of the four-year nuclear standoff, are engaged in face-to-face talks on crunch issues that some believe are more productive that the six-party process including China, South Korea, Russia and Japan. Top US negotiator Christopher Hill met his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye-Gwan in Beijing last week, their second meeting in a month, to explore how North Korea should consider disbanding its atomic weapons network in return for security, diplomatic and energy guarantees. Experts noted that their 15 hours of marathon talks brokered by China over two days were wide-ranging and tackled critical issues. "One of the things to note is that there had been extensive talks this time between the North Koreans and the United States," said Daniel Pinkston of the California-based Center for Nonproliferation Studies. "Proposals were exchanged and discussions were held and that means diplomacy is underway, and so whether or not the six-party meeting is held may be irrelevant," he said.

Is it just me? I seem to remember, Bushco and Condosleeza said that the reason Clinton had not solved the North Korea problem was that he didn't bring the other neighboring countries into the equation. One of the first things Bushco changed when he took over from Clinton was trashing the two way talks.

( Clinton was the one who actually forstalled the building of nukes by NKorea during his entire eight year administration.)

The full story is here


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