World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


NK Calls for Nonaggression Pact With US

NK Calls for Nonaggression Pact With US

BEIJING - Difficult negotiations aimed at resolving the most pressing security concern in Northeast Asia; North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, began Wednesday morning with the head delegates from six nations unveiling their positions with keynote speeches at Fang Fei Garden.

During his speech, Assistant U.S. States Secretary of State James Kelly underscored the need for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program completely, irreversibly and in a verifiable manner, demanding up-front concessions from the Pyongyang side.

Kelly reiterated his country’s position that there will be no rewards for North Korea, sources said, but is known to have mentioned that Pyongyang’s demands for a security guarantee can be met on paper.

South Korean officials disputed some media reports that the U.S. took an abrupt turn to a harder-line position toward North Korea, deciding to offer no incentives the North may be persuaded to grab.

“The reports that the U.S. has decided against a written form of security guarantee is not true,” said a senior South Korean diplomat. “There will be concrete discussion on the issue throughout the talks.”

North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Yong-il repeated his position that the U.S. needs to give up its hostile North Korea policy first by forging a non-aggression pact, sources said, adding that Pyongyang feels bound to keep the nuke program alive as long as threats from Washington continue.

“The United States... should change its policy (toward North Korea) and make clear a willingness to sign a non-aggression treaty,” said the Rodong Sinmun, the North’s official newspaper, Wednesday.

Kim is known to have expressed Pyongyang’s willingness to freeze or scrap the nuclear program if the U.S. agrees to lift decades-old economic sanctions against the impoverished country.

South Korea, which wants to remove the nuclear hurdle to continue its reconciliation policy with North Korea, said it is willing to provide massive economic benefits.

Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuck said during his keynote speech that large-scale economic cooperation projects are on the horizon after the nuclear dilemma disappears.

Japan’s head delegate Mitoji Yabunaka, Director-General at the Foreign Ministry and who is facing strong domestic pressure to resolve the issue of its nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, proposed that the six-way nuclear talks include the issue as well.

Japan’s insistence received uneasy reactions from China and Russia, which believe the issue could incite unnecessary protests from North Korea, chilling the atmosphere and hampering development on the nuclear issue.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi, host of the meeting, called for the participating nations to “work together for the success of the meeting” during his opening speech.

Wang said before the meeting the participating nations should “adopt a calm and patient attitude, respect each other, conduct consultations on an equal footing, seek common ground and reduce disputes.”

“We oppose sanctions or putting on pressure and we oppose war even more so,” stressed Wang during an interview with Chinese journalists Tuesday, mentioning his country’s efforts to realize a second round of dialogue since the North Korean nuclear crisis began last October.

Commenting that the coming together of the six parties is an important signal, Wang said Pyongyang made an “important and resolute” decision in realizing the talks.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing hosted a dinner for the delegates, who number about 100, in the evening. Heated debate is expected to take place Thursday and talks are expected to continue until Friday (Aug. 29).

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>