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North Korean Top Negotiator: Prospect of Six-Party Talks Depends on whether US Changes Hostile Policy
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Top negotiator of North Korea to the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue Kim Kye-gwan said here Friday the prospect of the six-party talks depends on whether US would change its hostile policy towards North Korea.

"Whether the United States is willing to change its hostile policy towards our country will decide the future of the six-party talks, and we will continue to follow the movements of the United States," Kim told reporters at a news briefing Friday evening.

"When the United States gives up its hostile policy towards the North Korea, mutual trust is built and we no longer feel any threat from the United States, we will discuss the issue of denuclearization," said Kim.

Kim stressed that North Korea has asked the United States to lift financial sanctions on North Korea first and then it would discuss implementation of the September 2005 joint statement.

"The US has asked us to freeze the nuclear facilities and to verify the denuclearization but did not propose any concrete step of lifting sanctions. We have opposed the US position and asked the US to study our proposal," said Kim.

He emphasized that the North Korea, as "a responsible nuclear state," "is committed to the obligations of non-proliferation and not transferring nuclear weapons."

The second phase of the fifth round of six-party talks recessed on Friday afternoon after issuing a chairman's statement, after five days of negotiations in Beijing by six delegations, namely, China, North Korea, the United States, South Korea, Japan, and Russia.
The chairman's statement said the six parties agreed to implement the joint statement of September 19, 2005 as soon as possible "in a phased manner".

(Xinhua News Agency December 23, 2006)

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