We have detected that the browser you are using is no longer supported. As a result, some content may not display correctly.
We suggest that you upgrade to the latest version of any of the following browsers:
Japan and the US agreed yesterday to push harder to get North Korea
to hold the next round of multilateral talks on its nuclear arms
programme, perhaps as soon as November, Japanese officials
The decision was made in a meeting between Japanese Chief Cabinet
Secretary Yasuo Fukuda and James Kelly, visiting US assistant
secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.
"We're hoping to have something within next month or the next five
or six weeks, but we don't know that for sure," Kelly later told
reporters in Tokyo.
Fukuda said separately at a news conference that no decision has
been made on the next round of talks.
China, Japan, North and South Korea, Russia and the US launched the
negotiations to resolve the North Korean nuclear programme, and
agreed to continue discussions to ensure the Korean Peninsula
remains free of nuclear arms.
The six nations, however, failed to agree on a date and venue for
the next round of talks.
North Korea has repeatedly said it made no promise about holding
On Tuesday North Korea announced it had "no interest" in
discussions over its nuclear programme.
Kelly expressed disappointment with the North's stance and said it
is important to convince Pyongyang that "the best way to security
in the future is not through (nuclear) weapons".
Kelly has been in Tokyo to take part in two days of talks among
Japan, the US and South Korea on the North Korean nuclear
The two-day meeting ended Tuesday without an agreement on whether
to suspend an international project to build two light-water
nuclear reactors in the North.
It was the first policy coordination among the three countries
following the six-nation talks.
South Korea's President Roh Moo Hyun Wednesday again offered North
Korea assistance in reform efforts to open up the country if it
renounced its nuclear programme.
"I again urge the North to abandon its nuclear development and come
onto the path toward peace and co-existence," said Roh at a
ceremony for the 55th ROK Armed Forces Day at a Seoul military
Roh said finding a solution to the nuclear conflict with North
Korea was his largest task.
He added that as soon as the conflict is settled consultations
could begin with North Korea over military measures.
"We will work on diverse support measures to bring success in the
reform and openness of North Korea," said Roh.
Unphased by North Korea's pronouncement on Tuesday of not being
interested in future talks over its nuclear programme, Roh remained
optimistic for the second round of six-nation talks.
"I expect that the second round of the talks will be held in due
time and will produce good results," he said.
At the same time, Roh spoke out in favour of a further
strengthening of the 50-year-old security alliance between South
Korea and the US.
Roh said the alliance "played an important role in safeguarding
US ambassador in Seoul Thomas Hubbard called the Mutual Defence
Treaty signed on October 1, 1953 "the cornerstone of one of the
most dynamic partnerships formed between two nations throughout the
course of history". – Sapa.