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

 

South Korea Calls on NK to Come Out for Nuke Talks


South Korea Calls on NK to Come Out for Nuke Talks

PYONGYANG - South Korean officials called on Pyongyang Thursday to participate in a second round of six-party nuclear talks in good faith, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

In a keynote speech at economic talks being held here, South Korean officials warned that inter-Korean economic cooperation projects would stall unless the North Korean nuclear row is resolved promptly through dialogue.

North Korean delegates avoided the nuclear issue and instead called on the South to push ahead with ongoing inter-Korean projects based on the principle of "inter-Korean collaboration."

North Korea has often called for strengthening inter-Korean 'collaboration' to counter "foreign forces," an allusion to the United States, over the nuclear row.

Seoul views Pyongyang's calls as an effort to drive a wedge into the Seoul-Washington alliance.

Prospects for a second six-nation meeting improved last week after North Korea agreed in principle to attend. After the first meeting ended without clear results in August, North Korea had showed little interest in further talks.

The North shifted its stance after U.S. President George W. Bush expressed a willingness to provide a multilateral security guarantee to the communist country if it agreed to scrap its nuclear arms program.

The first six-party meeting in Beijing involved the two Koreas, the United States, Russia, China and Japan.

The nuclear crisis flared in October last year when the United States accused the communist country of reneging on a 1994 agreement by running a secret nuclear weapons program.

Meanwhile, in the keynote speech session at the economic talks, the North complained of a lack of progress in inter-Korean economic projects, such as the reconnection of cross-border railways and roads.

In previous talks in August, the two sides agreed to reconnect the severed railways and roads across the heavily fortified border by the year's end.

The deadlines for inter-Korean projects have been missed due to political tensions and other problems.

The relinking of the railways and roads, severed just before the start of the 1950-53 Korean War, is one of the most prominent symbols of reconciliation set in motion by the landmark inter-Korean summit in 2000.

The four-day talks were called to review the progress of major economic projects between the two sides.

South Korea proposed that both sides open an office in the North's border city of Gaeseong to expand inter-Korean direct trade and exchange bilateral economic study tours to oversee ongoing inter-Korean economic cooperation.

The volume of direct inter-Korean trade accounts for less than 10 percent of annual cross-border shipments, which stood at $642 million in 2002 and $341 million in the first seven months of this year.

Seoul officials also proposed that the two sides make joint efforts to prevent illegal fishing by third countries in the Yellow Sea, an area where the navies of the two Koreas clashed in June last year, leaving five South Korean sailors dead and injuring 19 others.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>

ALSO:


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike.

Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More


Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>