[EDITORIALS]Six-way talks provide hopeWe can be disappointed that the six-party talks in Beijing made no real progress because the United States and North Korea did not budge an inch from their previous statements. But with the talks the six nations have reached a consensus that the North Korean security issue and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula must be addressed. They also agreed that there should be no more actions that will aggravate the crisis. All in all, we can say that the talks have kindled the fire for the peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear crisis.
That is why a second round of talks will open within two months. The usefulness of the six-party talks as a diplomatic format to resolve the crisis has been affirmed. We should note that while the United States and North Korea stuck to their views, the four other nations ― China, South Korea, Russia and Japan ― worked hard to produce a backdrop that can be conducive to diplomatic compromise. In particular, we anticipate China will continue its active role as host nation of the talks.
Hardliners in the North Korean and U.S. governments have criticized each other for obstinacy. There were signs of these people challenging the talk with hard-line offensives. North Korea’s chief delegate was quoted by the U.S. Defense Department as having threatened to prove that the North has nuclear weapons by testing them. The statement and the leak to the media were an attempt to cast a shadow on the talks. But it would be more relevant to regard them as a “war of nerves” between the two main parties embarking on a peaceful resolution of the matter.
North Korea and the United States should fine-tune their proposals so that their differences can be narrowed and come to the next round of talks. We urge the nations involved not to take any provocative actions. North Korea should not betray the trust of the other five nations with yet another threat. The United States should refrain from words or actions that may push North Korea to the brink. These concerted efforts will permit the long and tortuous path to resolving the crisis to lead to a successful outcome.