North Korea willing to resume talks: PM
* Pyongyang wants Tokyo ditched from talks
BEIJING: North Korean Premier Pak Pong-Ju said on Tuesday his country was ready to resume nuclear crisis talks when conditions were right, despite Pyongyang’s earlier announcing that it increased its nuclear arsenal to ward off a US attack.
Pak’s comments came in talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in the Great Hall of the People, a day after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Beijing to pressure Pyongyang to return to the six party talks on a nuclear free Korean peninsula.
“Premier Pak Pong-Ju said... that North Korea’s position on realising a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and resolving the nuclear issues through talks has not changed at all,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said after the talks.
“We are willing to make efforts to achieve this. The North Korea side does not oppose and has not given up on the six party talks,” Liu quoted Pak as saying.
“In the days coming, if the conditions are ripe, North Korea hopes to participate in the talks at any time.” During her two-day visit, Rice told her Beijing hosts that Washington was considering “other options” if Pyongyang refused to negotiate.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told Pak Tuesday that the nuclear talks should continue within the current six party framework, which also include South Korea, Japan and Russia, and urged all parties to show patience.
“The six party talks is the only pragmatic option currently to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogues and is in the interest of all parties,” Wen was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying. “It should continue and we hope all sides would show flexibility, pragmatism and patience,” Wen said.
Japan’s participation: Japan should be ejected from the stalled six-way talks on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions because its presence does more harm than good, one of Pyongyang’s main newspapers said on Tuesday.
A commentary in the state-run daily Minju Joson said Tokyo followed US policy - which Pyongyang says is hostile - and had contributed nothing to the multilateral talks comprising the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.
“Japan has neither the justification nor eligibility to attend the six-party talks,” the official KCNA news agency quoted Minju Joson as saying in the North’s latest salvo in a rhetorical offensive against negotiations it has itself declined to attend since last June. agencies