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Six-party talks

Six-party talks

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The six-party talks aim to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns as a result of the North Korean nuclear weapons program
North Korea and weapons of mass destruction
North Korea has declared that it has nuclear weapons and is believed by many to have nuclear weapons. The CIA assesses that North Korea also has a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons...

.
There has been a series of meetings with six participating states:
  • The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea);
  • The Republic of Korea (South Korea);
  • The People's Republic of China
    People's Republic of China
    China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

    ;
  • The United States of America;
  • The Russian Federation; and
  • The State of Japan.


These talks were a result of North Korea withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to...

 (NPT) in 2003. Apparent gains following the fourth and fifth rounds were reversed by outside events. Five rounds of talks from 2003 to 2007 produced little net progress until the third phase of the fifth round of talks, when North Korea agreed to shut down its nuclear facilities in exchange for fuel aid and steps towards the normalization of relations with the United States and Japan. Responding angrily to the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

's Presidential Statement issued on April 13, 2009 that condemned the North Korean failed satellite launch
Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2
In this regard, a delegation of fifteen strong Iranian rocket scientists, including senior officials with Iranian rocket and satellite producer Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, has been in the DPRK since the beginning of March, to help prepare for the launch...

, the DPRK declared on April 14, 2009 that it would pull out of Six Party Talks and that it would resume its nuclear enrichment program in order to boost its nuclear deterrent. North Korea has also expelled all nuclear inspectors from the country.

Content of the six-party talks


The main points of contention are:
  • Security guarantee - this issue has been raised by North Korea since the Bush administration
    George W. Bush administration
    The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W...

     (2001–2009) took office. North Korea labeled the Bush administration as hostile and accused it of planning to overthrow the North Korean government by force. This concern was elevated when President
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

     George W. Bush
    George W. Bush
    George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

     named North Korea as part of an "axis of evil
    Axis of evil
    "Axis of evil" is a term initially used by the former United States President George W. Bush in his State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002 and often repeated throughout his presidency, describing governments that he accused of helping terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction...

    " in his 2002 State of the Union Address
    State of the Union Address
    The State of the Union is an annual address presented by the President of the United States to the United States Congress. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the president to outline his legislative agenda and his national priorities.The practice arises...

    .
  • The construction of light water reactor
    Light water reactor
    The light water reactor is a type of thermal reactor that uses normal water as its coolant and neutron moderator. Thermal reactors are the most common type of nuclear reactor, and light water reactors are the most common type of thermal reactor...

    s
    - under the 1994 Agreed Framework two light-water reactors would be built in return for the closure of North Korea's graphite-moderated nuclear power plant
    Nuclear power plant
    A nuclear power plant is a thermal power station in which the heat source is one or more nuclear reactors. As in a conventional thermal power station the heat is used to generate steam which drives a steam turbine connected to a generator which produces electricity.Nuclear power plants are usually...

     program at Yongbyon
    Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center
    The Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center is North Korea's major nuclear facility, operating its first nuclear reactors. It is located in the county of Nyŏngbyŏn in North Pyongan province, about 90 km north of Pyongyang...

    . This agreement broke down after both sides defaulted, especially since 2002.
  • Peaceful use of nuclear energy - whilst the NPT allows states the right to use nuclear energy for civilian purposes, this is thought to have been used by North Korea as a cover for their nuclear weapons program.
  • Diplomatic relations - North Korea wants normalization of diplomatic relations as part of the bargain for giving up its nuclear weapons program. The U.S. has at times disagreed and at times agreed to this condition, providing North Korea irreversibly and verifiably disarms its nuclear weapons program.
  • Financial restrictions / Trade normalization - The U.S. has placed heavy financial sanctions on North Korea for what they see as an uncooperative attitude and unwillingness to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. In addition, other parties such as China have taken actions such as the freezing of North Korean assets in foreign bank accounts, such as the US$24 million in Macau's Banco Delta Asia. With the nuclear test on October 9, 2006, UNSCR 1718 was passed, which included a ban on all luxury goods to North Korea. These funds have since been unfrozen by the US on March 19, 2007 to reciprocate actions by their North Korean counterparts. The United States removed North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism in Oct 2008.
  • Verifiable and Irreversible disarmament - Members of the six-party talks have disagreed on this. Japan and the U.S. have demanded that North Korea completely dismantle its nuclear program so that it may never be restarted, and that it can be verified by the six members of the talks before aid is given. South Korea, China and Russia have agreed on a milder, step-by-step solution which involves the members of the six-party talks giving a certain reward (e.g. aid) in return for each step of nuclear disarmament
    Nuclear disarmament
    Nuclear disarmament refers to both the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated....

    . North Korea has wanted the U.S. to concede some of the conditions first before it will take any action in disarming their weapons program, which they see as the only guarantee to prevent a U.S. attack on their soil.

1st round (27 Aug – 29 Aug 2003)


  • Representatives:: Lee Soo-hyuk, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Kim Young-il, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs: James Kelly
    James A. Kelly
    James Andrew Kelly was Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs . President George W. Bush nominated Kelly on April 3, 2001; he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 26, 2001 and sworn in on May 1, 2001....

    , Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
    Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
    The Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs is the head of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs within the United States Department of State. The Assistant Secretary guides operation of the U.S...

    : Wang Yi, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs: Mitoji Yabunaka
    Mitoji Yabunaka
    is the current Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of administration. Prior to his current position, Yabunaka served as Ministry of Foreign Affair's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director-General...

    , Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau: Alexander Losyukov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs


Objectives achieved
  • A Chairman's Summary agreed upon for a further round of talks.
  • No agreement between parties made.

2nd round (25 Feb – 28 Feb 2004)


Representatives:

: Lee Soo-hyuk, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

: Kim Gye-gwan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: James Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

: Wang Yi, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Mitoji Yabunaka, Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

: Alexander Losyukov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Objectives achieved
  • A Chairman's Statement announced with seven articles, including:
    • Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
    • Peaceful Coexistence of Participating States, stressing the use of mutually coordinated measures to resolve crises.
  • Agreement to hold the third round of talks with full participation during the second quarter of 2004.

3rd round (23 Jun – 26 Jun 2004)


Representatives

: Lee Soo-hyuk, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

: Kim Gye-gwan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: James Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

: Wang Yi, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Mitoji Yabunaka, Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

: Alexander Alexeyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Objectives achieved
  • A Chairman's Statement announced with eight articles, including:
    • Reconfirming the commitment to denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, stressing specification of the scope and time, interval (between steps of) and method of verification
  • Agreement to hold fourth round of talks in Beijing before September 2005

1st phase (26 Jul – 7 Aug 2005)


Representatives

: Song Min-soon, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

: Kim Gye-gwan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Christopher Hill
Christopher R. Hill
Christopher Robert Hill is an American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.On July 1, 2010, Hill was chosen to be the dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver...

, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

: Wu Dawei
Wu Dawei
Wu Dawei is the special representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs and former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.Wu's career has largely taken him back and forth between China and Japan...

, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Sasae Kenichiro, Deputy Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

: Alexander Alexeyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Objectives achieved
  • U.S. and North Korea cannot agree on 'peaceful' use of nuclear energy
  • Three-week recess of talks due to ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting

2nd phase (13 Sep – 19 Sep 2005)


Representatives

: Song Min-soon, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

: Kim Gye-gwan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

: Wu Dawei, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Sasae Kenichiro, Deputy Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

: Alexander Alexeyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Objectives achieved
  • Agreement on a Joint Statement of six articles, including:
    • Verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
    • Observe and realize the 1992 Korean Peninsula Denuclearization Declaration
    • North Korea to agree to abandon all nuclear weapons and nuclear programs
      North Korea and weapons of mass destruction
      North Korea has declared that it has nuclear weapons and is believed by many to have nuclear weapons. The CIA assesses that North Korea also has a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons...

       and return to the NPT
      Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
      The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to...

       as soon as possible
    • However, the states still respect North Korea's stated right to peaceful use of nuclear energy.
    • The issue of the light water reactor
      Light water reactor
      The light water reactor is a type of thermal reactor that uses normal water as its coolant and neutron moderator. Thermal reactors are the most common type of nuclear reactor, and light water reactors are the most common type of thermal reactor...

      s will be discussed "at an appropriate time"
    • U.S. and the South Korea to formally declare that they have no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula
    • U.S. affirmed it has no intention to attack or invade North Korea and will provide a security guarantee to this effect
    • U.S. and North Korea will work to normalize ties, respect each other's sovereignty, exist peacefully together.
    • Japan and North Korea will work to normalize relations, in accordance with the Pyongyang Statement by settling historical disputes.
    • The other five Parties undertook to promote economic cooperation through strengthening bilateral/multilateral economic cooperation in energy, trade and investment.
    • South Korea reaffirmed its proposal of 7/12/05 concerning the provision of 2 million kilowatts of electricity if the DPRK abandoned its nuclear arms program.
    • The Korean Peninsula peace treaty to be negotiated separately.
    • 'Words for words'; 'actions for actions' principle to be observed, stressing 'mutually coordinated measures'.
  • Agreement to hold fifth round of talks in early November, 2005.

1st phase (9 Nov – 11 Nov 2005)


Representatives

: Song Min-soon, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

: Kim Gye-gwan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

: Wu Dawei, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Sasae Kenichiro, Deputy Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

: Alexander Alexeyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Objectives achieved
  • Joint Statement issued with six points. This is essentially the same as the previous round's statements, except for:
    • Modifying the 'words for words' and 'actions for actions' principle to 'commitment for commitment, action for action' principle.
  • No agreement on when the next talks will be held, though March 2006 looked likely at the time.

Events between phases 1 and 2

  • In April 2006, North Korea offered to resume talks if the U.S. releases recently frozen North Korean financial assets held in a bank in Macau
    Macau
    Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

    . http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4905308.stm
    • The U.S. treats the nuclear and financial issues as separate; North Korea does not.
  • North Korea then announced on October 3, 2006, that it was going to test its first nuclear weapon regardless of the world situation, blaming 'hostile U.S. policy' as the reason for the need for such a deterrent. However, it pledged a no-first-strike policy and to nuclear disarmament only when there is worldwide elimination of such nuclear weapons http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-10/03/content_5167518.htm. For North Korea's full text, read this.
  • On October 9, 2006, North Korea announced a successful nuclear test
    2006 North Korean nuclear test
    The 2006 North Korean nuclear test was the detonation of a nuclear device conducted on October 9, 2006 by North Korea.North Korea announced its intention to conduct a test on October 3, six days prior, and in doing so became the first nation to give warning of its first nuclear test...

    , verified by the U.S. on October 11.
  • In response, the United Nations Security Council
    United Nations Security Council
    The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

     passed Resolution 1718
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718 was adopted unanimously by the United Nations Security Council on October 14, 2006. The resolution, passed under Chapter VII, Article 41, of the UN Charter, imposes a series of economic and commercial sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of...

     unanimously condemning North Korea, as well as passing Chapter VII, Article 41. Sanctions ranged from the economic to the trade of military units, WMD
    Weapons of mass destruction
    A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

    -related parts and technology transfer, and a ban on certain luxury goods. Both the People's Republic of China
    People's Republic of China
    China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

     and the Russian Federation were quick to stress that these were not military-enforceable sanctions. The Resolution also gave the right to other nations to inspect any North Korean vessel's cargo, although the People's Republic of China
    People's Republic of China
    China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

     has held reservations about this move, saying it wanted to avoid any military confrontation with North Korea's navy.
  • On 31 October 2006, the Chinese government announced that six-party talks would resume. U.S. negotiator Christopher Hill
    Christopher R. Hill
    Christopher Robert Hill is an American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.On July 1, 2010, Hill was chosen to be the dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver...

     later stated that the resumption could happen in the next month and that North Korea had not set preconditions for the talks. The deadlock was broken by what BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    called "frantic behind-the-scenes negotiations" by Beijing. However, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Aso
    Taro Aso
    was the 92nd Prime Minister of Japan serving from September 2008 to September 2009, and was defeated in the August 2009 election.He has served in the House of Representatives since 1979. He was Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2007, and was Secretary-General of the LDP briefly in 2007 and...

     stated that his country was not willing to return to the six-party talks until North Korea had renounced nuclear weapons.
  • On 5 December 2006, the Russian envoy and former chief Russian negotiator for the six-party talks Alexander Alexeyev said that the talks were unlikely to resume before 2007 owing to the slow progress towards the talks and the fact that Christmas was coming up soon.
  • On 10 December, it became apparent that talks would resume on 18 December 2006.

2nd phase (18 Dec – 22 Dec 2006)


Representatives

: Chun Yung-woo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

: Kim Kye-gwan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

: Wu Dawei, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Sasae Kenichiro, Deputy Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

: Sergey Razov, Russian Ambassador to China



Objectives achieved
  • Chairman's Statement issued
    • All six parties reaffirm their commitment to the Joint Statement made on 19 September 2005 in an 'action for action' manner.
    • All six parties reaffirmed their positions, some of whose positions have differed greatly since the last time the parties met.
  • Numerous bilateral talks were held, especially the Sunday before the talks (Dec 17, 2006) and on the third and fourth days of negotiations.
  • Separate bilateral talks were made concerning the freezing of overseas North Korean financial assets between the U.S. delegation led by the U.S. Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, Daniel Glaser, and the North Korean delegation led by the President of the DPRK's Foreign Trade Bank, O Kwang Chol. These talks ended without consensus on a stance, but both delegations agreed to meet again in New York in January 2007.
  • The 5th round only went into "recess" on Dec 22, 2006, indicating that the round was not over yet. China's chief six-party talks negotiator Wu Dawei stated on January 8, 2007 that working talks concerning the financial sanctions were likely to resume on January 21–22, 2007 in New York, with the main six-party talks likely to resume soon after in Beijing.

Events between phases 2 and 3

  • Russia's ex-chief negotiator for the six-party talks Alexander Losyukov has taken over from Sergei Razov as the new chief negotiator. Losyukov was previously the Russian ambassador to Tokyo, appointed immediately after the second round of the six-party talks in March 2004.
  • On 26 January 2007, Russian chief negotiator Alexander Losyukov told reporters that the third phase was most likely to resume sometime in late January or early February 2007, most likely 5–8 February 2007. Apparently the North Korean delegation wants to resume these talks on 8 February 2007. The dates were chosen to take place before the Lunar New Year, which commences in mid-February in 2007. This has been supported by the PRC
    People's Republic of China
    China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

     and ROK
    South Korea
    The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

     delegations.
  • Both Kim Kye-gwan for North Korea and Christopher Hill for the U.S. made positive remarks about the progress of in-between-rounds one-to-one talks held from Tuesday 16 January 2007 to Thursday 18 January 2007 in Berlin, Germany, pointing to "certain agreements" being reached. They met for six hours on Tuesday and one and a half hours on Wednesday. North Korea has viewed these talks as the "bilateral negotiations" it has wanted with the U.S. for a long time, whereas the U.S. refers to it as talks in "preparation for the six-party talks".
  • U.S. Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Daniel Glaser is due to hold talks with his North Korean counterpart, O Kwang Chol, in Beijing, China, on Tuesday 30 January 2007 regarding partial lifting of financial sanctions, thought to be around US$13 million of the US$24 million frozen in Macau's Banco Delta Asia.
  • China has confirmed on Tuesday 30 January 2007 that the third phase of talks will commence on 8 February 2007.
  • North Korea was reported to agree to freeze their nuclear program in exchange for 500,000 tons of fuel oil a year, similar to the 1994 Agreed Framework just before the third phase of talks started after a pre-talk one-on-one meeting between Kim and Hill. There were rumors that a U.S.-North Korean memorandum of understanding had been signed before this phase, although this was denied by U.S. Chief Representative Christopher Hill.

3rd phase (8 Feb – 13 Feb 2007)


Representatives

: Chun Yung-woo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

: Kim Kye-gwan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

: Wu Dawei, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Sasae Kenichiro, Deputy Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

: Alexander Losyukov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Objectives achieved
  • Joint Statement issued on Tuesday 13 February 2007, 3pm
    • North Korea will shut down and seal the Yongbyon nuclear facility, including the reprocessing facility and invite back IAEA personnel to conduct all necessary monitoring and verifications
    • In return, the other five parties in the six-party talks will provide emergency energy assistance to North Korea in the initial phase of 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil, to commence within 60 days.
    • All six parties agree to take positive steps to increase mutual trust, and make joint efforts for lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia. Directly related parties will negotiate a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula at an appropriate separate forum.
    • All six parties agree on establishing five working groups - on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, normalization of North Korea-U.S. relations, normalization of North Korea-Japan relations, economy and energy cooperation, as well as a joint Northeast Asia peace and security mechanism.
    • The working groups will form specific plans for implementing the September 19 statement in their respective areas.
    • All parties agree that all working groups will meet within the next 30 days
  • Details of assistance will be determined through consultations and appropriate assessments in the working group on economic and energy cooperation.
  • Once the initial actions are implemented, the six parties will promptly hold a ministerial meeting to confirm implementation of the joint document and explore ways and means for promoting security cooperation in Northeast Asia.
    • The sixth round of six-party talks will take place on March 19, 2007. This will be to hear reports of the working groups and discuss actions for the next phase.

Events during the 5th round, 3rd phase of talks
  • China drew up a plan that was presented on Friday, 9 February 2007, building on the September 2005 agreement. It proposes that the Yongbyon 5MW(e) nuclear reactor be "suspended, shut down and sealed" within two months in exchange for energy supplies and economic aid by the other five countries to North Korea. It also proposed to establish "four to six" working groups on each of the outstanding issues not agreed on. Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Aso was reported to applaud the draft, hailing it as a breakthrough. However, Japanese chief representative Sasae Kenichiro and U.S. chief representative Christopher Hill were much more cautious, saying it was just a first step in a long process, but at least there was agreement by all parties on the fundamental points. North Korean chief representative Kim Kye-gwan said North Korea was "prepared to discuss initial denuclearization steps" but was "neither optimistic nor pessimistic because there are still a lot of problems to be resolved"
  • China held one-on-one talks with each of the other five countries on Sunday 11 February 2007. The six countries' chief negotiators then had an hour-long meeting together in the afternoon. They did not announce any end date for this phase of talks after the meeting.
  • China's plan has run into some difficulties regarding the steps North Korea will take to denuclearize in exchange for aid. The Japanese chief representative claimed North Korea was demanding too much compensation in return for denuclearization. South Korea's chief representative Chun Yung-woo said it was "unreasonable" to expect a breakthrough on Sunday 11 February 2007. Russia's chief representative Losyukov said that the chances of reaching a two-page joint statement are slim, and if this does not work out, a Chairman's Statement will be issued.
  • On February 13, 2007, Christopher Hill announced that a tentative deal had been reached between the negotiators, and a "final text" was being circulated to the governments of the six parties for approval. Even before the deal had been approved, it was criticized by John Bolton
    John R. Bolton
    John Robert Bolton is an American lawyer and diplomat who has served in several Republican presidential administrations. He served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from August 2005 until December 2006 on a recess appointment...

    , former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who said that it sent "exactly the wrong signal to would-be proliferators around the world".
  • The Chairman's Statement adopted on February 13, 2007 was the result of 16 hours of grueling negotiations, finalized only at 2 a.m. on February 13, 2007. This was circulated to all six parties, and agreed on at around 3 p.m. that same day.

1st phase (19 Mar – 22 Mar 2007)


Representatives

: Chun Yung-woo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

: Kim Kye-gwan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

: Wu Dawei, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Sasae Kenichiro, Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

: Alexander Losyukov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Objectives achieved
  • On March 19, 2007, the US Chief Negotiator Christopher Hill announced that all of the $25 million in funds belonging to the North Koreans in Banco Delta Asia that were frozen before were being unfrozen to reciprocate the positive steps the North Koreans have taken towards freezing their Yongbyon nuclear reactor and readmitting IAEA inspectors, with a future goal towards total nuclear disarmament of the Korean peninsula. However, this issue was only put on the agenda on the morning of the talks instead of before hand, so the financial transaction ran into some problems in terms of time and being cleared (by the Bank of China) for the North Koreans. The North Koreans, led by Kim Kye-gwan, refused to negotiate further until they received their money. The Americans (Christopher Hill, not Daniel Glaser) denied responsibility for the delay, citing it as a "Chinese matter". The Chinese (Wu Dawei) in turn said "there wasn't enough time to accomplish the transaction". The Bank of China has been hesitant to accept the money as Banco Delta Asia has not been removed from the US' blacklist despite having the funds in question unfrozen. Nevertheless, none of the five other parties see this financial issue as posing any obstruction to the talks. "The resolution of the BDA issue is a question of time, not a question of political will,", Chun Yung-woo, the South Korean Chief Negotiator, said. The talks have been put on recess at the end of the fourth day of talks after progress was not possible after the second day.
  • The US has also admitted that this freezing of funds was a bargaining chip used to pressure North Korea to dismantle.
  • The talks were abandoned as North Korea refused to proceed without receiving the $25 million in their hands.
  • A South Korean newspaper reported that North Korea had taken steps to shut their Yongbyon 5MW(e) reactor though.


Events taken place between halt and resumption of 1st phase of the 6th round of talks
  • The 60-day deadline was obviously not met because of the above, though none of the six parties made much of a hassle about it. The US has urged North Korea to meet its commitments as soon as possible, citing this matter was no longer a US one. Russia, China and South Korea have urged patience. Japan is still pressing for the abduction issue to be resolved.
  • On June 11, 2007 Russia agreed to transfer the unfrozen North Korean funds from the Macao bank and transfer them to North Korea.
  • On July 14, 2007, after receiving fuel aid from South Korea, North Korea declares it has closed the nuclear facilities at Yongbyon and says it is willing to dismantle all of its nuclear program. On July 18, 2007 IAEA inspectors verify that North Korea has closed its facilities.

Resumption of 1st phase (18 Jul – 20 Jul 2007)


Representatives

: Chun Yung-woo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

: Kim Kye-gwan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Christopher Hill
Christopher R. Hill
Christopher Robert Hill is an American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.On July 1, 2010, Hill was chosen to be the dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver...

, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

: Wu Dawei
Wu Dawei
Wu Dawei is the special representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs and former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.Wu's career has largely taken him back and forth between China and Japan...

, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Sasae Kenichiro, Deputy Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

: Vladimir Rakhmanin
Vladimir Rakhmanin
Ambassador Vladimir Rakhmanin, born in 1958, became Deputy Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat in July 2008. Mr. Rakhmanin is Russian by nationality, and completed a Masters diploma in international relations from Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1980. Mr...

, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Objectives achieved
  • Joint Statement issued on Friday July 20, 2007
    • The six parties expressed satisfaction with the constructive efforts made by all parties to advance the Six-Party Talks process and welcomed that productive bilateral consultations and coordination were conducted to enhance their mutual trust and improved relations with each other.
    • The parties restated their commitment to the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005 and the agreement of 13 February 2007 and undertook to fulfill their respective obligations under those agreements in line with the principle of "action for action".
    • North Korea confirmed its agreement to disclose all nuclear programs and disable all facilities related to its nuclear programs.
    • Agreement for the five working groups to meet before August to discuss plans for the implementation of the general consensus.
    • Talks will resume in September to hear the report of the working groups and work out a roadmap for implementing the general consensus. After the end of the next phase of talks the six parties will hold a ministerial meeting in Beijing as soon as possible to confirm and promote the implementation of the September 19 Joint Statement, the February 13 agreement and the general consensus, and explore ways and means to enhance security cooperation in Northeast Asia.
  • A deadline was not decided on during the talks until the working groups have a chance to meet. This is likely because the deadlines set in talks earlier in the year were not met.
  • North Korea warned of a "crisis" over Japan's refusal to fund energy assistance. Japan says it will not share the costs of the assistance until North Korea resolves the abductee issue.


Events taken place between 1st and 2nd phase of the 6th round of talks
  • South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun proposed forming a Korean Economic Community to be discussed in new inter-Korean talks.
  • US President George Bush says he will work on a peace agreement on the Korean Peninsula when North Korea completely disarms.
  • Israel reveals an IAF strike in Syria on September 6 was targeting a Syrian nuclear facility built with assistance from North Korea.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is replaced with Yasuo Fukuda. Fukuda has pledge to lead improve ties with North Korea.

2nd phase (27 Sep – 30 Sep 2007)


Representatives

: Chun Yung-woo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

: Kim Kye-gwan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

: Wu Dawei, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

: Sasae Kenichiro, Deputy Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

: Alexander Losyukov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Objectives achieved
  • Reports from working groups heard and endorsed.
  • Implementation of initial actions of February 13, 2007 Agreement confirmed
  • List of Second Phase Actions for Implementation of Joint Statement issued 2 October 2007.
    • DPRK agreed to disable all nuclear facilities subject to September 2005 Joint Statement and February 13 Agreement, including the disablement of three facilities at Yongbyan by 31 December 2007: the 5 MW Experimental Reactor, the Reprocessing Plant, and the Nuclear Fuel Rod Fabrication Facility.
    • The DPRK agreed to provide a complete and correct declaration of all its nuclear programs in accordance with the February 13 agreement by 31 December 2007.
    • The DPRK and the United States will increase bilateral exchanges and enhance mutual trust. The U.S. will fulfill its commitments to the DPRK (regarding the processes of removing the designation of the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism, and that of terminating the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act to the DPRK) in parallel with the DPRK's actions, as based on consensus reached at the meetings of the Working Group on Normalization of DPRK-U.S. Relations.
    • The DPRK and Japan will hold intensive consultations to make sincere efforts to normalize their relations expeditiously in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration.
    • In accordance with the February 13 agreement, economic, energy and humanitarian assistance up to the equivalent of one million tons of HFO (inclusive of the 100,000 tons of HFO already delivered) will be provided to the DPRK. Specific modalities will be finalized through discussion by the Working Group on Economy and Energy Cooperation.
    • The Parties reiterated that the Six-Party Ministerial Meeting will be held in Beijing at an appropriate time.

  • A final meeting was decided on before the end of 2007. However, this was never realized because despite the DPRK issuing a report of its inventory in November 2007 and thus claiming that since it fulfilled its side of the bargain, it was waiting for its promised shipment of aid, the US claimed the inventory list was definitely incomplete and until the complete list was given by the DPRK, aid would be suspended. There have been numerous US-DPRK bilateral meetings held in Beijing and Geneva since the end of this phase of this round of talks.

  • Yonhap News Agency, citing unnamed officials, claimed that with the new ROK government led by Lee Myung-bak since the end of 2007, the six-party talks' top negotiators will be replaced. AM Kim Sook is to replace Chun Yung-woo as the top negotiator, and Hwang Joon-kook is to replace Lim Sung-nam as the deputy.

Discontinuation of talks


On April 5, 2009, North Korea proceeded with its announced satellite launch
Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2
In this regard, a delegation of fifteen strong Iranian rocket scientists, including senior officials with Iranian rocket and satellite producer Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, has been in the DPRK since the beginning of March, to help prepare for the launch...

, despite international pressure not to do so. The pressure was due to international belief that the "satellite" was in fact a test of North Korea's Taepodong-2 ICBM. The launch was a failure, and it landed in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. Despite the failure, U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 responded that "violations must be punished." South Korea urged heavier sanctions against North Korea.

On April 13, 2009, the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 agreed unanimously to a Presidential Statement that condemned North Korea for the launch and stated the Council's intention to expand sanctions on North Korea.

On April 14, 2009, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, responding angrily to the UN Security Council's resolution, said that it "will never again take part in such [six party] talks and will not be bound by any agreement reached at the talks." North Korea expelled nuclear inspectors from the country and also informed the International Atomic Energy Agency
International Atomic Energy Agency
The International Atomic Energy Agency is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957...

 that they would resume their nuclear weapons program.

On May 25, 2009, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 detonated a nuclear device underground
2009 North Korean nuclear test
The 2009 North Korean nuclear test was the underground detonation of a nuclear device conducted on 25 May 2009 by North Korea. This was its second nuclear test, the first test having taken place in October 2006. Following the nuclear test, Pyongyang also conducted several missile tests.The test was...

. The test was condemned by the United Nations, NATO, the other five members of the Six-party talks, and many other countries worldwide.

See also

  • North Korea – United States relations
  • Japan–Korea relations
  • U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework
  • Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center
    Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center
    The Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center is North Korea's major nuclear facility, operating its first nuclear reactors. It is located in the county of Nyŏngbyŏn in North Pyongan province, about 90 km north of Pyongyang...

  • List of Korea-related topics
  • 2006 North Korean nuclear test
    2006 North Korean nuclear test
    The 2006 North Korean nuclear test was the detonation of a nuclear device conducted on October 9, 2006 by North Korea.North Korea announced its intention to conduct a test on October 3, six days prior, and in doing so became the first nation to give warning of its first nuclear test...


External links