9~Nov. 11, 2005 (Beijing, China)
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assistant State Secretary for East Asian
and Pacific Affairs
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs
Deputy Director-General of Asian and
Oceanian Affairs Bureau
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
|The six parties adopted a chairman’s statement
but did not set the date for the second session
of the talks.
The statement described how to discuss the implementation
of the joint statement agreed at the fourth round
of the talks in September:
|Chairman’s Statement Text
|The six parties
reaffirmed the principles and goals of the
joint statement and agreed on how to discuss
its implementation. No specific date was set
for the second session of the talks’ fifth
round but they did agree to hold it “at the
earliest possible date.”
1. The parties
reaffirmed the principles and goals of the
To fully implement the joint statement in
line with the principle of “'commitment
for commitment, action for action”;
To realize the verifiable denuclearization
of the Korean Peninsula at an early date;
To contribute to lasting peace and stability
of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.
2. The parties also agreed:
to implement the joint statement through
to commence and conclude the process in
a timely and coordinated manner;
to achieve balanced interests and mutually
beneficial results through cooperation.
The first session of the talks’ fifth round was
on how to implement the joint statement. Before
the session started, however, North Korea cast a
dark cloud over the talks by raising its opposition
to U.S. financial sanctions. Though worry rose that
the first phase would prove fruitless, the meeting
concluded with the chairman’s statement reconfirming
each party’s position and opinion on how to implement
the joint statement.
China: Working Group
Chief Chinese negotiator Wu Dawei said the main task was to outline details, ways and procedures for the implementation of the joint statement. He proposed that each of the negotiators draft a general plan for the statement’s implementation, the setup of working groups to finalize details and review of the results.
S. Korea: Groundwork Preparation
Deputy Foreign Minister Song Min-soon presented a general plan for implementation of the joint statement and listed specific measures for each party to take to lay the groundwork. He refrained from giving a timeline or an order to avoid misunderstanding until the parties were ready to discuss details.
North Korea: 5-Step Roadmap
North Korea’s chief delegate Kim Gye-kwan presented a five-step roadmap calling for the North to
1) halt all nuclear tests
2) bar the transfer of nuclear technology or materials to other nations
3) stop producing more nuclear weapons
4) suspend and later dismantle its nuclear program subject to verification
5) rejoin the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and maintain safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The United States, Japan and Russia made no specific
comments on the joint statement’s implementation.
Japan’s chief negotiator, however, proposed a three-track
format for bilateral negotiations on denuclearization,
normalizing diplomatic relations and economic aid.
Though analysts believed the fifth round of the six-way talks would focus on the light-water reactor project, the main points of contention were trust-building measures such as the U.S. demand for the shutdown of the North’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor and the North’s demand for the lifting of American financial sanctions.
In-depth discussions took place in bilateral consultations
between the two Koreas, South Korea and the United
States, and the United States and North Korea.
Chief U.S. negotiator Christopher Hill urged the
North to shut down its five- megawatt nuclear plant
in Yongbyon, saying smoke still came out of the
plant even after the joint statement was signed.
He said that since the shutdown was a prerequisite
for implementing the joint statement, Washington
would withhold compensation. South Korea urged a
compromise of North Korea deactivating the reactor
and the United States providing compensation.
U.S. Sanctions on N. Korea
North Korea said U.S. sanctions on its companies violated the principle of the joint statement. It demanded an explanation why the United States “falsely” accused North Korean firms of counterfeiting, money laundering and other illicit activities and urged prevention of a recurrence.
|U.S. Financial Sanctions
The U.S. Treasury Department tracked several
North Korean firms suspected of abetting the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
and froze their assets in the United States.
The department also barred transactions between
American financial institutions and Chinese
banks in Macao over alleged counterfeiting
and money laundering.
- On June 29, U.S. President George W. Bush
imposed an executive order to freeze the assets
of three North Korean firms found to have
helped proliferate WMDs: Korea Ryongbong General
and Korea Mining Development.
- On September 16, the U.S. Treasury Department
named Banco Delta Asia as a "primary
money laundering concern." Washington
then banned American firms from conducting
transactions with the Macau-based bank after
U.S. authorities said it helped to circulate
counterfeit currency and launder drug money.
- On October 21, Washington froze U.S.-based
assets of eight more North Korean companies
that were implicated in the proliferation
The eight were Korea Kwangsong Trading, Hesong
Trading, Korea Complex Equipment Import, Korea
International Chemical Joint Venture, Korea
Pugang Trading, Korea Ryongwang Trading, Korea
Ryonha Machinery Joint Venture and Tosong
△Whether North Korean firms printed and circulated counterfeit currencies
△Whether the North Korean government was involved in the illicit activities
Pyongyang says U.S. sanctions violate the
joint statement and has demanded an explanation
from Washington and a pledge against a recurrence.
Washington has balked at the demand, saying
the sanctions have nothing to do with the
six-party talks and are legal proceedings
of the Treasury Department.
The two sides are apparently displaying a
show of strength before discussing specific
measures to implement the joint statement.
Experts said U.S. sanctions are meant to exert
pressure on North Korea and reinforce the
importance of trust-building measures before
the second session of the fifth round of the
North Korea has its back to the wall because
its primary source of foreign currency is
blocked and must take higher ground in the
talks on how to implement the joint statement.
|The first session of the talks’ fifth round showed
that trust-building between the United States and
North Korea is the key to implementing the joint
statement. From the beginning, the parties expected
the fifth round to have two sessions, with the first
cut short because of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
summit in Busan. The first session, however, did
produce the chairman’s statement reconfirming the
principles and goals of the joint statement agreed
in the fourth round.
the first session, the parties made little progress
on how to implement the joint statement and only
reaffirmed each of their positions.
chairman’s statement reconfirmed the principles
and goals of the joint statement and stressed trust-building
measures in recognizing distrust between the United
States and North Korea as one of the biggest obstacles.
In addition, stressing “full” implementation of
the joint statement shows the parties will discuss
every item. The statement affirmed that the parties
should receive equal benefits in implementing the
joint statement stressing the words “balanced” and
the United States and North Korea were on opposite
sides, they did try to narrow their differences.
Pyongyang reconfirmed its commitment to give up
nuclear weapons in the plenary meeting. In one of
their bilateral consultations, the United States
said it could provide compensation such as exchanging
parties did not set a specific date for the second
session but agreed to hold it “at the earliest possible
date.” The uncertainty over the date was worrisome
but was also seen as providing enough time to narrow
Prospects and Tasks
trust between Washington and Pyongyang holds the
key to success in the six-way talks. Above all,
the two sides must resolve their dispute over the
Yongbyon reactor and initial compensation for the
North. A difficult task lies ahead, however, given
the tremendous effect of the two sides’ relations
when discussing how to implement the joint statement.
In the first session, the parties gave proposals
and listed necessary measures for each to take.
Thus the second session will arrange the measures
in a progressive and chronological order.
The outcome of the talks will largely depend on
if Washington takes a conservative or moderate position
on human rights and the North’s illegal activities.
Korea could hamper the six-party talks if it links
U.S. sanctions with the meeting. The United States
will maintain its hard-line stance on the North’s
money laundering, weapons proliferation and counterfeiting.
Thus mediation between the two sides will prove
the recess between the first and second sessions
of the fifth round of the talks, the parties must
hold bilateral consultations to narrow differences.
Each must specify its position on implementing the
joint statement and consult other parties. Most
importantly, the United States and North Korea need
to find a middle ground while South Korea must take
on a mediating role.