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North Korea stalls on Six-Party talks, September 16, 2004

'DPRK FM. Spokesman on British Foreign Office Delegation's DPRK Visit', KCNA, September 16, 2004.

Pyongyang, September 16 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry gave the following answer to a question put by KCNA today as regards the DPRK visit of the delegation of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: The delegation led by Bill Rammell, deputy secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, visited the DPRK from September 11 to 14 at the invitation of the DPRK Foreign Ministry. During its stay the delegation had contacts and meetings with the DPRK side at various levels at which they had an in-depth exchange of views on the issue of bilateral relations, the nuclear issue, the human rights issue and other issues of mutual concern.

There surfaced some differences at the talks but both sides had an exhaustive discussion on the issues taken up and reached certain understanding.

The British side admitted that there was some reason in the DPRK's stand on the nuclear issue, the human rights issue, etc.

Concerning the six-party talks the DPRK side said that its stand is to consistently pursue the talks but the U.S. evermore undisguised hostile policy toward the DPRK and the recent disclosure of a series of secret nuclear experiments in south Korea, in particular, have thrown great hurdles in their way. It, therefore, clarified its stand that it can never sit at the table to negotiate its nuclear weapon program unless truth about the secret nuclear experiments in south Korea is fully probed.

As regards the rumor that the DPRK links the settlement of the nuclear issue to the presidential election in the U.S., the DPRK side clarified the stand that it does not care who becomes U.S. president and that it considers the U.S. policy towards the DPRK as the only yardstick.

In other words, whoever is willing to renounce the hostile policy towards the DPRK and coexist with it can surely seek a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue.

Though there were differences between the two sides, the recent DPRK visit of the British foreign office delegation could be described on the whole as a very fruitful and successful one.

Both sides agreed to continue dialogue and cooperation.

However, what the delegation said about the results of the visit upon its return home makes us feel that it was not honest.

Moreover, it is very strange that the delegation has uttered no word about south Korea's secret nuclear experiments, a focus of world attention.

Perhaps, it did so as this is a matter related to an "ally" of the United States.

Whatever the reason, it is by no means normal for Britain to turn aside from the clandestine experiments, which created quite a stir worldwide, as it is so interested in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

There was another matter clarified. During the British delegation's stay in the DPRK, some media spread a false report that the recent big blasting in a power station construction site in the northern part of the DPRK was an "explosion accident" and a "nuclear test". In this connection, the British side hoped that an on-field inspection of the site would be arranged for the diplomatic corps here, and the DPRK side met this request with pleasure out of good faith.

Source: Korean Central News Agency of the DPRK, http://www.kcna.co.jp.

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