“My objective is to try to find a way forward that will lead to greater peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula which is important not just for the people of Korea, North and South, but also for the region of Northeast Asia and quite frankly for the world,” Special Representative for North Korea Policy Ambassador Glyn Davies said recently to reporters on his arrival in Beijing to begin bilateral exploratory discussions with North Korean representatives.
“The issue ... on the table ... with the North Koreans ... [is] denuclearization ... but I also plan to raise nonproliferation, human rights and humanitarian affairs,” Ambassador Davies said. “My hope is that we can find a way to move forward with the North [Koreans] because ... it’s in everyone’s interest to try to get on to the next phase ... which will be Six-Party Talks.”
All the countries in the region involved in the diplomatic process have an interest in getting back to the Six-Party Talks. “We’re not interested . . . in talk for talk’s sake,” Ambassador Davies said. “We first need to see signs that North Korea is indeed prepared to take steps to reassure all of us . . . that they are sincere in getting back to fulfilling the obligations that they themselves made.”
Among other topics, the United States expects the North Koreans to raise the issue of humanitarian assistance. The United States is carefully monitoring the food security situation in DPRK because of “our deep concern for the welfare of the people of North Korea.”
However, as Ambassador Davies stated, “we've made no final decisions about the provision of nutritional assistance.” “We are hoping to reach certain populations -- children under five in particular, but also pregnant and breast-feeding women, and certain elderly who are living alone off of the North Korea public distribution system -- we're ready to talk about that - and to see if we can move that process forward.”
“It's very important that North Korea quickly take up again its dialogue with its neighbors, in particular South Korea but also with Japan,” Ambassador Davies said in conclusion. “I'm hopeful that we won't spend too much time going back over positions that we have already outlined to each other, and that we can start from that spot and move forward.”