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Monday, January 17, 2022

North Korea may return to the six-party talks

CSMS Magazine Staff Writers North Korea has hinted that it might return to the negotiating table. Three weeks after stunning the world for detonating a nuclear device, Pyongyang seems to indicate that it once again wants to take the diplomatic ride. However, after being condemned by the United States and other western powers, Washington appears eagerly ready to reengage North Korea. The positive news from the North was received as “a diplomatic breakthrough” by Washington. Pyongyang also reaffirmed a pledge to give up nuclear weapons in exchange for security guarantees and other concessions, chief US negotiator Christopher Hill told reporters in Beijing. The talks, which involve China, the two Koreas, Russia, the United States and Japan, could restart as soon as November, Hill said.Russian and Chinese news agencies reported the news this morning. The unexpected announcement followed seven hours of secret negotiations in Beijing between Hill and his counterparts to the six-party talks from North Korea and its closest ally China, the media reported.Hill made the announcement at a news conference in the Chinese capital, and he claimed that North Korea had set no conditions for returning to the negotiating table, prompting a warm welcome by the White House, South Korea and Japan.\”We believe it will be either this coming month, November, (or) possibly December,\” Hill replied when asked when the talks would restart. \”They did not make any conditions,\” he added. \”For us it was very important that no-one should create conditions for attending the talks.\”South Korea, meanwhile, said the developments had eased tensions following the North\’s October 9 atomic test. \”It gives us relief,\” South Korea\’s unification ministry spokesman Yang Chang-seok told Yonhap news agency. US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in Washington: \”We welcome the announcement and look forward to resuming the talks soon.\”Japan\’s top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki, said Tokyo had been seeking the North\’s \”prompt, unconditional return\” to the multilateral process. North Korea pulled out of the talks in November last year in protest at US financial sanctions imposed against it. Pyongyang had insisted it would not return until those financial sanctions were lifted. China sets to get most of the credit after being praised in the western media for pressuring the North into returning to the table.Also see “North Korea” : http://www.csmsmagazine.org/news.php?pg=20061020I310

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