N Korea to be patient and flexible in nuclear talks: FM
JAKARTA: North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-Sun promised on Tuesday to be patient and flexible in six-party talks on resolving the Korean nuclear crisis but complained that a lack of trust was impeding progress, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said.
Paek earlier held talks with Wirayuda on the first full day of a visit to Jakarta, during which he will attend a major Asia-Pacific security forum. “North Korea promised to continue to take part in the six-party talks with, in his (Paek’s) own words, full patience and flexibility and to solve the issue in one package,” Wirayuda told reporters after their meeting.
“He admitted that the missing substance in the talks is trust.” The crisis over the Stalinist North’s nuclear weapons programme will be a major topic when foreign ministers from 22 Asia-Pacific states and from the European Union meet on Friday. Paek reiterated his country’s intention through dialogue to remove its nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula, according to Wirayuda.
Indonesia, as current chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will also chair the meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum. Foreign ministers from all six countries engaged in the nuclear talks, including US Secretary of State Colin Powell, are set to attend Friday’s annual forum. Paek, according to a statement from his aides, “appreciated that the Indonesia government gave its understanding and support to the reasonable proposal and the principled stand of the DPRK (North Korean) government for the fair resolution of the nuclear issue.” Wirayuda, according to the statement, said the North’s attendance at the Jakarta meeting would help ensure peace and stability in the region.
The third round of six-party talks ended Saturday in Beijing, with signs of flexibility but no concrete progress. Participants agreed to meet again by the end of September. North Korea on Monday described an “unrealistic” a new US plan, which would give it three months to shut down and seal its nuclear weapons facilities in return for major economic and diplomatic rewards. But Washington said it expected Pyongyang to study the new proposal carefully. afp