Six-nation ministerial talks on North Korea July 23July 18th, 2008 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, July 18 (RIA Novosti) Foreign ministers of the six countries negotiating North Korea’s nuclear disarmament will meet in Singapore July 23, South Korea’s Yonhap agency said Friday. The six countries involved in the talks - Russia, the United States, China, Japan and the two Koreas - have never yet sent their top diplomats to the negotiations, which have been running since 2003.
“China, which chairs the six-way talks, proposed that the six nations’ foreign ministers convene July 23 on the sidelines of the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum. South Korea and the other parties accepted this,” an unnamed South Korean foreign ministry official told the agency.
The last round of talks was held July 10-12 in Beijing.
The negotiations were given a boost by North Korea’s agreement to scrap its nuclear reactors by the end of October and to allow foreign experts to visit facilities to verify information released by the communist state on its past nuclear activities.
The China Daily reported that no joint statement was released after the talks due to a disagreement over a North Korean demand that checks be conducted to verify that there are no nuclear weapons at US military bases in South Korea.