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Ambassador Bosworth On North Korea

U.S. will be open to dialogue but will maintain sanctions.

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Bosworth recently visited South Korea, Japan, and China for talks on determining the way forward on North Korea, including achieving the goal of the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.

Ambassador Bosworth emphasized that the discussions "confirmed our desire and determination to continue to work together very closely through consultation and coordination of policy. We will continue," he said, "to pursue the basic strategy we have been pursuing for the last several months: one of being open to dialogue and negotiations with the North Koreans, but at the same time maintaining the sanctions which have been put in place by the U.N. Security Council and by the United States and other governments. We have reaffirmed our fundamental goal, which remains denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

In 2003, the United States, along with South Korea, Japan, Russia, and China entered into negotiations with North Korea in a process known as the Six-Party Talks. It was aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program in return for economic and political benefits. The Talks broke down in September of 2008 and have not resumed. In May 2009 North Korea announced that it had tested a nuclear device, which violated UN Security Council Resolution 1718, and defied international efforts aimed at strengthening the global non-proliferation regime. In June 2009, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1874, imposing additional sanctions on North Korea because of its nuclear and missile activities.

Ambassador Bosworth said that while the United States and its partners are interested in restarting negotiations on denuclearization with North Korea, they are not interested in talking for talking's sake. "We want negotiations that produce a meaningful result. So we will be looking for indication that North Korea shares that desire and that determination."