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U.S. Supports Six-Party Talks

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States believes with respect to North Korea the Six-Party talks are essential. In August 2003, North Korea agreed to engage in talks with the United States, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Russia aimed at the elimination of North Korea's nuclear program.

In response to progress made by North Korea on disablement of core nuclear facilities and its submission of a declaration of its nuclear programs, the United States terminated the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act with respect to North Korea and rescinded the designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. The U.S. has continued to work with Six-Party partners to establish a strong regime to verify North Korea's dismantlement of its nuclear program.

In a press conference January 27, Secretary Clinton said the Six-Party talks "have not only been a useful forum for the participants to deal with the challenge of North Korea's nuclear program and the other issues that are part of the North Korean agenda, but within the Six-Party Talks there have been bilateral meetings and we are going to pursue steps that we think are effective."

In addition to supporting the Six-Party talks, the United States has long recognized that the future of the Korean Peninsula is a matter for the Korean people to decide. The U.S. supports the peaceful reunification of Korea on terms acceptable to the Korean people.

To that end the U.S. believes that a constructive and serious dialogue between the authorities of North and South Korea is necessary to resolve outstanding problems, including the North's nuclear program and human rights abuses, and to encourage the North's integration with the rest of the international community.