|Time and Place||July 18~20, 2007 in Beijing, China|
A meeting of chief nuclear negotiators from the six countries took place in Beijing in July, 2007. It came about four months after the first session of the sixth round of the six-party talks went into recess without any result in March, due to a financial dispute involving North Korea’s funds frozen in Macau’s Banco Delta Asia. At the July meeting, negotiators discussed issues they had failed to deal with at the previous talks, such as North Korea’s nuclear disablement and prompt declaration of its nuclear programs. They reconfirmed the need for the faithful implementation of North Korea’s nuclear disablement and declaration, the provision of economic, energy and humanitarian aid worth 950,000 tons of heavy fuel oil to North Korea, and their commitment to fulfill their respective obligations. They also agreed to convene meetings of working groups before the end of August and hold the second session of the six-party talks in early September, followed by a gathering of foreign ministers from the six countries at an early date. The members released a press communiqué, not a chairman’s statement, at the end of the unofficial talks.
The parties reaffirmed their will to implement agreements reached at the previous talks. They agreed that
· They will faithfully implement the September 19th joint statement in 2005 and the February 13th agreement in 2007.
· North Korea will fulfill its commitment to a complete declaration of its nuclear programs and disablement of its nuclear facilities.
· North Korea will be provided with economic, energy and humanitarian aid worth 950,000 tons of heavy fuel oil.
· All parties will fulfill their respective obligations specified in the September 19th joint statement and the February 13th agreement.
Measures to Implement Agreements
· Before the end of August, they will hold five working-group meetings. (denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, normalization of relations between North Korea and the U.S., normalization of North Korea-Japan relations, economy and energy cooperation, and Northeast Asia peace and security mechanism)
· They will hold the second session of the sixth round of the six-party talks in early September to hear the results of the working group meetings and map out the roadmap for the implementation of the agreements.
· They will convene a ministerial meeting at the earliest possible date.
< Press Communiqué of the Head of Delegation Meeting of the Sixth Round of the Six-Party Talks >
Beijing, 20 July 2007
Ⅰ. The Head of Delegation Meeting of the Sixth Round of the Six-Party Talks was held in Beijing from 18 to 20 July 2007. Mr. Wu Dawi, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PRC; Mr. Kim Gye Gwan, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK; Mr. Kenichiro Sasae, Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; Mr. Chun Yung-woo, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Mr. Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Department of State of the United States; and Mr. Vladimir Rakhmanin, Ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation attended the talks as heads of their respective delegations. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei chaired the meeting.
Ⅱ. The Parties reviewed the work and progress since the First Session of the Sixth Round of the Six-Party Talks, 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 improve relations with each other.
Ⅲ. For the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, normalization of relations between the countries concerned and lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia, the Six Parties held candid and practical discussions on the work during the period of the next phase and reached the following general consensus:
1. The Parties reiterated that they will earnestly fulfill their commitments in the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005 and the agreement of 13 February 2007.
2. The DPRK side reiterated that it will earnestly implement its commitments to a complete declaration of all nuclear programs and disablement of all existing nuclear facilities.
3. Economic, energy and humanitarian assistance up to the equivalent of 950,000 tons of heavy fuel oil(HFO) will be provided to the DPRK.
4. All parties undertook to fulfill their respective obligations as listed in the September 19 Joint Statement and February 13 agreement in line with the principle of '“action for action“.
Ⅳ. To implement the above-mentioned general consensus, the Parties decided to take the following steps:
1. Before the end of August, the Working Groups for Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Normalization of DPRK-US relations, Normalization of DPRK-Japan relations, Economy and Energy Cooperation and Northeast Asia Peace and Security Mechanism will convene their respective meetings to discuss plans for the implementation of the general consensus.
2. In early September, the Parties wil hold the Second Session of the Sixth Round of the Six-Party Talks in Beijing to hear reports of all Working Groups and work out the roadmap for the implementation of the general consensus.
3. Following the Second Session of the Sixth Round of the Six-Party Talks, the 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.
Course of the Talks
- Background for the Talks
It took more time than expected for chief negotiators of the six-party talks to reconvene the meeting, after the first session of the sixth-round of the talks ended in a recess on March 22, 2007, due to the dispute over North Korean accounts at Banco Delta Asia. The financial row erupted when North Korea insisted on the release of $ 25 million frozen at the Macau-based bank, blacklisted by the U.S. for allegedly helping the North with money laundering and other illegal financial activities. The U.S. and North Korea finally agreed on the release of the North’s funds, followed by the sixth round of six-way talks. But the money wasn’t delivered to the North, and this became the sticking point of the negotiations. North Korea boycotted the talks, waiting for the money transfer. The talks eventually ended in a recess without any progress in March. Following the solution of this thorny issue, nuclear envoys from the six countries were able to resume the multilateral talks in July.
- A Series of Bilateral Talks between Pyongyang and Washington
The day before the talks, delegates from North Korea and the U.S. held a series of meetings at both embassies alternately. Pyongyang stressed that it would dismantle its nuclear programs in exchange for ‘appropriate corresponding measures,’ while Washington reportedly said that it would consider the measures the North was demanding, namely, the removal of North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and the termination of sanctions against the North under the Trading with the Enemy Act, in line with the level of the North’s denuclearization.
- Chief Negotiators’ Meeting
Chief negotiators of the six countries held negotiations from July 18 to 20 to examine the current status of the nuclear talks and intensively discuss ways to implement the second phase of denuclearization measures stated in the February 13th accord. During the talks, they sought to coordinate their differing views and check major actions to be taken, in order to lay the groundwork for the follow-up negotiations.
- Adoption of Press Communiqué
They initially tried to adopt a chairman’s statement but eventually released a press communiqué, in consideration of the nature of the unofficial talks.
Key Issues and Results
The participants focused more on the implementation of previous agreements and the resumption of the follow-up talks than on striking new deals.
- Implementation of February 13th Agreement
North Korea clarified its commitment to nuclear disablement and declaration, and the other participants reaffirmed the principle of the faithful implementation of reciprocal measures, such as the provision of economic and energy assistance equivalent to 950,000 tons of heavy fuel oil to North Korea.
- Working-Group Meetings
The negotiators agreed to hold five working-group meetings before the end of August for the resumption of the six-party talks.
- Second Session of Sixth Round of Six-Way Talks
Based on the results of the working-group meetings, they promised to hold the second session of the sixth-round of six-party talks in early September and draw up a roadmap for the implementation of the second-step denuclearization measures.
- Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
Foreign ministers from the six countries will hold talks as early as possible in order to facilitate the implementation of the September 19th joint statement and the February 13th accord, and to seek ways to promote security cooperation in Northeast Asia.
The recess of the six-party talks in March dragged longer than expected, due to the dispute over the transfer of North Korean funds at BDA. The chief negotiators are believed to have made some progress during their latest meeting, since they agreed on the schedule for the next round of talks and promised to hold a six-party ministerial meeting as well. Also notably, North Korea did not make any new demands that might hinder the negotiations.