The top negotiators at the six-party talks ended their three-day
meetings yesterday by reaching some general but noteworthy
The parties, namely China, Russia, Democratic People's Republic
of Korea (DPRK), Republic of Korea (ROK), the United States and
Japan, pledged that they would be steadfast in carrying out their
commitments as specified in the Joint Statement they signed on
September 19, 2005, and the agreement they inked on February
The 9/19 statement requires all parties to shoulder their
responsibilities for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula on the
principles of "commitment for commitment" and "action for action".
The 2/13 agreement outlined the initial steps that all parties
should take towards denuclearization.
The DPRK should be lauded for reiterating its vow to "earnestly
implement its commitments to a complete declaration of all nuclear
programs and disablement of all existing nuclear facilities."
We are also happy to see the parties reiterating the promise of
economic, energy and humanitarian aid worth of 950,000 tons of
heavy fuel oil for the DPRK.
Even with the consensus, the heads of the delegations didn't shy
away from the fact that they did not set at this meeting a solid
timetable as to when DPRK should declare and disable its nuclear
Obviously more consultations, especially within the related
working groups, are needed. The obstacles and technical glitches
that stand in the way of denuclearization are intertwined and it is
unrealistic to disentangle the knots in one go.
For instance, the talks to improve the bilateral relations
between the DPRK and the US, and between the DPRK and Japan, will
be hard tests of the wisdom and will of the countries involved.
And the parties also need time to explore concrete processes and
actions for their earnest cooperation in energy and economic
Above all, denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula while
establishing a pragmatic and working mechanism to maintain peace
and security in Northeast Asia are what the people in the
Asia-Pacific region and the world aspire.
For that, the parties involved should not fail their
(China Daily July 21, 2007)