Thursday, December 10, 2009

Evaluation of Bosworth’s North Korean talks

It remains to be seen whether North Korea will return to six-party talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear program, U.S. envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth said today upon completing a three-day trip to the communist nation.

Bosworth said he held talks with North Korean officials, but not President Kim Jong Il, because "we did not ask" for a meeting with the leader. He said they did not make plans for a future meeting.

Bosworth described his meetings in Pyongyang as "exploratory talks, not negotiations. …My purpose ... was to facilitate the resumption of the six-party talks and to reaffirm the goal of fully implementing the September 2005 joint statement," he said.

"I communicated President Obama's view that complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is a fundamental undertaking of the six-party process ... and that the absence of progress on denuclearization is an obstacle to improving our relations."

As Obama "has made it clear, the United States is prepared to work with allies, partners in the region to offer ... North Korea a different future," Bosworth said.

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