Japan, U.S. reject China’s proposal for 6-party talks

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Japan, U.S. reject China’s proposal for 6-party talks

After South Korea’s tepid response, the U.S. and Japan also reacted unenthusiastically to China’s proposal for an emergency meeting among members of the stalled six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear programs.

“The six-party talks cannot substitute for action by North Korea to comply with its obligations,” a U.S. State Department spokesman said. “We have called on China to urge the DPRK [North Korea] to restrain its provocations and responsibly act in the interests of peace and stability.”

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku also said yesterday that Japan won’t accept the proposal. Sengoku told a news conference that Japan is now focusing on working closely with South Korea and the U.S.

On Sunday, Wu Dawei, China’s top envoy on Korean Peninsula affairs, proposed emergency consultation among representatives of the six-party talks amid growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, including the deadly shelling by North Korea of a South Korean island, which killed two marines and two civilians. The talks, which also involve Russia, were suspended in April 2009 with the North’s walkout. Later in the day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Seoul took note of the proposal, but it “needs to be carefully reviewed.”

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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