Remarks on Day One of the Second Round of Six-Party TalksJames A. Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
February 25, 2004
The United States is pleased to participate in the second round of six-party talks in Beijing.
I would like to express my Government’s appreciation to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for again hosting these talks, and to vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Ambassadors Fu Ying and Ning Fukui and other Chinese officials for their personal efforts.
The United States is convinced that this multilateral forum provides the surest diplomatic means of promoting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula by ensuring its nuclear weapons-free status.
It is not only our six governments that are deeply interested in this issue. The peace, stability, and prosperity of Northeast Asia, which is a major world population, cultural, economic, and trading nexus, are of great importance to the international community as a whole. Of no less importance is the need to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in order to protect the international community.
The United States seeks the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of all of the D.P.R.K.’s nuclear programs, both plutonium- and uranium-based and weapons. In that context, as President Bush stated last fall, the United States is prepared to join with other parties in providing security assurance to the D.P.R.K. President Bush has also made clear that the United States has no intention of invading or attacking the D.P.R.K. This remains the policy of the United States.
Resolution of the nuclear issue will facilitate resolution of important bilateral issues among the parties and thus open up the prospect of fully normalized relations among all of the six parties. That, in turn, will help to ensure not only the peace but also the prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia as a whole.
The first round of six-party talks provided the opportunity for governments directly concerned with the Korean Peninsula, and the nuclear issue in particular, to state their positions authoritatively before all of the other parties. This created a solid baseline from which we can work together to fashion a diplomatic solution to the problem.
We look forward to positive and productive discussion in this round. We hope that, together, we can achieve concrete progress and lay the basis for further progress in the weeks and months to come.
Again, Mr. Vice Minister, allow me to express the United States’ appreciation for China’s hosting of these important talks.
Released on February 25, 2004