Six-Party Talks
1st Round
2nd Round
3rd Round
4th Round (Stage 1)
4th Round (Stage 2)
5th Round (Stage 1)
5th Round (Stage 2)
5th Round (Stage 3)
6th Round (Stage 1)
6th Round-Chief
Negotiators' Meeting
6th Round (Stage 2)
6th Round-2nd Chief
Negotiators' Meeting
6th Round-3rd Chief
Negotiators' Meeting
Current Nuclear
Weapons States
Untitled Document
and Place
Feb. 25~28, 2004 (Beijing, China)
Representatives  Lee Soo-hyuk
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
   Kim Gye-gwan
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs
   James Kelly
Assistant State Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
   Wang Yi
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs
   Yabunaka Mitoji
Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau
   Alexander Losyukov
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Announcement of a 'Chairman's Statement' of seven articles, the first 'letter of agreement' produced by the six-party talks

- Chairman's Statement - Agreement on 'Denuclearization of the Peninsula' and 'Peaceful Coexistence of Participating States' / stresses the use of 'mutually coordinated measures' to resolve the crisis

- Agreement to retain the momentum of the talks by holding the 3rd round of talks with full participation during the second quarter of 2004 / agreement to organize a working group meeting to prepare for the 3rd round of talks
Key Issues
North Korea - stresses that the U.S. abandon its 'hostile policies'

As in the 1st round, North Korea continues to claim that any agreement or pledge by the U.S. would be meaningless unless it abandons its 'hostile policies'.

- Requests 'U.S.-NK non-aggression treaty', 'acknowledgement of North Korea sovereignty', 'normalization of U.S.-DRPK relations', and 'lifting of economic sanctions' as evidence that the U.S. has abandoned hostile policies

DRPK focus on: 1) ascertaining U.S. willingness to back up its non-aggression intentions and ensure the DRPK regime's security in the form of official documents and 2) confirming the specific concessions the U.S. would be prepared to make upon North Korea's pledge to abandon its nuclear program.

Some analysts interpret these principles as a conciliatory gesture by North Korea in that it expressed 'an actual willingness' to give up its program.

U.S. - demands CVID of HEU (highly-enriched uranium) program as well as nuclear materials/ facilities for peaceful use

The U.S. responds affirmatively to North Korea request concerning regime security, raising the possibility of a future working group meeting to discuss that end.

However, it also expands the previous CVID objectives to include not only the plutonium-based nuclear weapons program but also the alleged HEU nuclear weapons program and nuclear materials/ facilities for peaceful use.

U.S.-NK - failure to arrive at agreement

North Korea denies possession of HEU

North Korea is in a difficult position to abandon the peaceful use of nuclear energy (i.e., power generation) owing to its economic depression and limited capacity to meet electricity demands

Failure to reach working-level agreements due to continued U.S.-NK disagreement on the scope of CVID objectives

South Korea - proposes 3-stage process to resolve Crisis

South Korea proposes a 3-stage process within a cooperative framework between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, which would later form the basis of future six-party talks.

South Korea also demonstrates initiative by presenting energy-aid plans for North Korea's abandonment of its nuclear program, receiving support from China/Russia and consent from the U.S. and Japan.

3+3+3 Stage Process' Proposed by South Korea
South Korea · US · Japan
North Korea
Joint South Korea/U.S./Japan announcement on ensuring North Korea regime security 1st Stage
Words for Words
Announcement on abandoning nuclear program
Mutually coordinated measures by the three parties Pursuing regime security and normalization of relations

3 Steps of ensuring
regime security

North Korea   South Korea/U.S./Japan
Expression of willingness to abandon program

Starts dismantling

Finishes dismantling

Expression of willingness to ensure regime security

Provisional assurance

Finalized assurance

2nd Stage
Actions for Actions
Freezing and dismantling of nuclear program

3 Conditions for CVID

1)Dismantling must take place as promptly as possible

2)North Korea must accept inspections by the international community

3)All forms of nuclear facilities/ materials, including HEU, must be subject to CVID
Establishment of Peace on the Peninsula
(including the resolution of matters such as terrorist, human rights, and missiles issues)
3rd Stage Resolution of Crisis

Progress in working-level discussions / introduction of an institutional device to continue the six-party talks

Intensive and concrete negotiations on the requirements and concessions for each stage of the 3-stage process / improved working-level efforts by the U.S. and North Korea (in comparison with the 1st round)

General agreement to hold 3rd round of talks / agreement to introduce an institutional device (i.e., practical group meetings) to ensure the permanent continuation of the talks

New North Korea Foreign Vice-Minister Kim Gye-gwan negotiates with a more flexible stance

North Korea replaces the head of its delegation to the 2nd round of talks with a higher-ranking Vice-Minister, Kim Gye-gwan, who participates in the negotiations with an 'anything is negotiable' attitude.

U.S. - distrust toward North Korea, maintains fundamental position

The U.S. continues to state that all North Korea issues, including its nuclear program, missiles, conventional weapons, biological/ chemical weapons, and human rights violations, must be resolved before any moves to normalize U.S.-NK relations.
※ The U.S. repeatedly stresses that the occasions of bilateral U.S.-NK contact during the talks were 'unofficial contacts, not negotiations'.

Differences in opinion persist between a ‘desperate North Korea’ and 'fundamentalist U.S.‘
During revisions to the final draft of the 2nd round's Statement, North Korea replaces "a closer understanding of the other's position" with "some differences, that may be adjusted later on" in order to clearly stress the unacceptability of key U.S. demands (scope of CVID, etc.).

1st & 2nd Working Group Meetings
1st Working Group Meeting

Time and place: May 12~14, 2004 (Beijing, China)

The U.S. states willingness to provide "a broad array of concessions including North Korea's declassification as a terror-sponsoring state, on the condition that North Korea completely gives up its nuclear program"; North Korea retorts that "the CVID objectives demanded by the U.S. are humiliating and fit only for nations that have lost a war".

2nd Working Group Meeting
Time and place: June 21~22, 2004 (Beijing, China)

The U.S. maintains that the "North Korea's acknowledgement of its possession of HEU is the first step to resolving the crisis', while North Korea takes a more flexible stance by expressing the willingness to accept 'freezing the program in a verifiable manner' as a first step of the CVID process.