Thursday, March 10, 2005

7 is the magical number : "North Korea : EUROPE 's called into 6-way talks to ease KJI nuke ambitions"

Beijing and Seoul already offered their entire support
to this Europe wise men participation. Moscow is
interested. Most EU members already have diplomatic
relations and cultural institutions represented in
Pyongyang... After Iran, EU's role growing on world


quotes : (agencies)

"European Union parliament members are set to adopt on a
resolution calling for the EU inclusion into the
six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear ambitions, with
an aim to bring Pyongyang back to the stalled

It will the first time that the 732-strong European
Parliament will urge EU leaders and officials to talk
with relevant countries about the EU participation in
the multilateral framework.

The move may lead to the creation of a "seven-party"
framework on North Korea's nuclear program involving the
six : China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Russia and
the United States plus the 25-nation European Union. (33
to come)

The European Parliament calls on the European Council
and the European Commission "to make the necessary
approaches regarding EU participation in future 'Six
Party Talks' at the same time making clear that 'No Say,
No Pay' is a principle which the European Union will
follow regarding the Korean Peninsula."

The European Union has extended 500 million euros in
assistance to North Korea over the last five years, but
it has no representation in the six-way talks.

European experts believe members such as the United
States, Japan and South Korea would want other players
to share the cost to resolve the standoff, especially
after Pyongyang declared on Feb. 10 that it possesses
nuclear weapons and pulled out indefinitely from the

"They (North Korea) have said they would welcome our
participation," a source close to the European
Parliament said. "I'm not claiming it would
automatically get them back to the negotiating table,
but it would certainly make it easier, and (if)
situations will be changed, they can come back more
easily, in a face-saving way."

"I've personally spoken to Kim Yong Nam about this in
the past, and he has indicated they have no problem with
EU participation," the source said. Kim is North Korea's
second highest ranking leader and president of the
country's Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.

The source also said China and South Korea have both
indicated support for EU participation. The "Chinese
line is very simple: 'If it helps North Korea, it's fine
with us,'" the source said.

"I don't think Russia is going to create a problem. I
guess the problem is likely to be primarily with the
U.S., and a lesser extent with Japan," the source said,
expressing caution that the United States and Japan may
only look for financial contributions from the European
Union without letting it have a say about the situation
on the peninsula.

The resolution is expected to be adopted at a plenary
session being held in Strasbourg, France, because it is
backed by the parliament's all six major groups,
parliament members said.

The draft says the European Parliament "is deeply
concerned that North Korea on 10 February 2005 declared
that it possesses nuclear weapons and suspended its
participation in the six-party talks on its nuclear
program for an indefinite period of time."

The parliament "urges both North Korea and the U.S. to
enable a speedy resolution of the current crisis,
initially by offering to recommence the supply of heavy
fuel oil in exchange for a verified freezing of the
Yongbyon plant, to avoid further deterioration of the
current situation," it says.

At the same time, the draft asks the council and the
European Commission "to offer financial support for
heavy fuel oil supplies to remedy North Korea's primary
energy needs."

Moreover, it also "urges North Korea to rejoin the NPT
(Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), to revoke its
decision to withdraw from the six-party talks and to
allow the resumption of negotiations in order to find a
peaceful solution to the crisis in the Korean

The six-party talks have been held three times since
August 2003, but a fourth round set for the end of
September failed to take place after the North refused
to attend it, citing Washington's "hostile" policy
against it.

On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
and U.S. President George W. Bush agreed during their
telephone talks that North Korea must unconditionally
return to the six-nation talks on its nuclear program at
an early date, and that China can play a significant
role to get Pyongyang to return to the talks."

end of quotes

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