The six-party talks' working group on economy and
energy cooperation held its first meeting Thursday afternoon at the
South Korean embassy in Beijing.
The meeting, attended by South Korean chief negotiator Chun Yung
Woo and officials from the five other nations, primarily revolved
around North Korea's need for assistance and other nations'
intentions as to this assistance, sources with the South Korean
Chun announced that the discussion touched upon North Korea's
current energy situation, enumerating the fields in which the five
other parties could provide assistance, the timeframe and size of
any assistance, as well as studying technical issues such as the
price conversion between heavy oil and other assistance items.
Chun indicated that the meeting on economic and energy
cooperation had begun within 30 days of the February talks, another
sign that all parties remain fully committed to carrying out the
Feb. 13 joint document "on process", according to the press center
of South Korean delegation.
During the last round of talks, the six parties reached a
consensus on the initial steps needed to implement the joint
The steps included the creation of five working groups, each one
tackling a particular area of the agreement, respectively dealing
with denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea-US
relations, North Korea-Japan relations, economic and energy
resources cooperation, and peace and security of northeast
Negotiators of six parties have started three working group
meetings since Thursday, aiming to discuss details of ways to
implement the initial steps of Sept. 19 joint statement.
Two other working groups, relating to regional security and
disarmament, are set to meet in the next few days ahead of the full
resumption of the six-party talks next Monday.
The two working groups of North Korea-US relations and North
Korea-Japan relations already met in early March in New York and
(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2007)