North Korea to rejoin six-nation talks

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Last night, North Korea agreed to rejoin a six-nation talk on disarming its nuclear weapons after more than a year of dissent. The agreement was reached at a dinner meeting hosted by the Chinese which included Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill. At the same time Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Beijing.

North Korea's Korean Central News Agency issued a statement saying the talks would resume because the preconditions for negotiations were met: "The U.S. side clarified its official stand to recognize the DPRK as a sovereign state, not to invade it and hold bilateral talks within the framework of the six-party talks."

North Korea would allow talks if the United States would treat the country with respect, referring to earlier comments by Condoleezza Rice, who had called North Korea an "outpost of tyranny." According to the statement, the North Korean government views the meeting with Hill as a "retraction" of these earlier comments.

The Chinese government has offered to host the talks once again. China has hosted three prior talks without substantial results.