U.S. envoy in Seoul, with focus on six-party talks

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U.S. envoy in Seoul, with focus on six-party talks

While tension between the two Koreas spiked yesterday after the North threatened to release recordings of a secret meeting with the South, the United States has been busy engaging in discussions with several parties of the six-party talks.

Kurt Campbell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, arrived in South Korea at 8:30 a.m. yesterday, kicking off a rigorous schedule with back-to-back meetings. Campbell’s mission was to discuss issues related to the Korean Peninsula, including North Korea’s recent threats that it would cut all ties with the South and questions over what would come next.

Seoul was the last stop on Campbell’s East Asia tour before leaving for Washington. Beginning on Sunday, he has made his way through Beijing, Mongolia and then Indonesia.

Campbell told reporters at the Central Government Complex in Seoul yesterday that China is “concerned” about the disruption in inter-Korean talks and would like the two Koreas “very much” to get back to working toward dialogue. He also said the United States supports South Korea’s efforts to get talks between the two Koreas back on track. Campbell said Kim Jong-il had not informed Chinese officials during his sudden trip to China last month that North Korea would be disclosing the existence of secret meetings between North and South officials. The U.S. official said China had been shocked by the revelation.

“China said it would try of its own accord” to help with inter-Korean relations, said Wi Sung-lac, South Korean envoy to the six-party denuclearization talks, after his meeting with Campbell.

Wi said the U.S. and South Korea see eye-to-eye on the six-party talks, while China has its differences. “China would like the timing to come sooner,” he said. The U.S. and South Korea remain adamant that there are steps that need to be taken before holding the talks.

Wi also said a decision on U.S. food aid to North Korea had not yet been made. Matters involving the Korean Peninsula would be worked out in greater detail during a summit between the foreign ministers of South Korea and the U.S. on June 24, Wi said.

By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [연합]

캠벨 美 차관보 방한…대북공조 협의

커트 캠벨 미국 국무부 동아태 차관보가 10일 방한해 우리 정부 당국자들과 대북 공조 방안을 협의한다.

캠벨 차관보는 이날 오전 8시30분께 인도네시아발(發) 항공기로 인천공항을 통해 입국해 오전 11시 서울 도렴동 외교통상부 청사에서 김성환 외교부 장관과 면담했다.

김 장관은 모두 발언을 통해 "캠벨 차관보의 방한은 한미공조가 얼마나 긴밀하게 이뤄지고 있는지를 보여준다"면서 "7일 헝가리에서 중국의 양제츠(楊潔지 <兼대신虎들어간簾> ) 중국 외교부장과 만나 나눴던 대화에 대해 오늘 이야기하겠다"고 말했다.

이에 대해 캠벨 차관보는 "이번 중국 방문에서 추이텐카이(崔天凱) 외교부 부부장과 우다웨이(武大偉) 한반도사무 특별대표 등을 만나 북한에 대해 다양한 이야기를 나눴다"면서 "오늘 면담에서 그 내용을 논의할 수 있을 것"이라고 답했다.

캠벨 차관보는 김 장관과의 면담 후에 김재신 외교부 차관보, 위성락 한반도평화교섭본부장과 잇따라 만날 예정이다.

이들 면담에서는 최근 한반도 정세와 한미동맹, 지역ㆍ범세계적 이슈 등 양국의 관심사에 대한 폭넓은 논의가 진행될 것이라고 외교부는 밝혔다.

특히 북한의 남북 정상회담 비밀접촉 일방공개와 남북대화 거부에 따른 한반도 정세구도 변화 가능성을 평가하고 6자회담 재개를 비롯한 향후 공동대응 방안을 조율할 방침이다.

대북 식량지원의 시기와 규모, 방법론 등에 대해서도 의견 교환이 있을 예정이다.

캠벨 차관보는 지난 6일부터 중국 베이징, 몽골, 인도네시아를 순방했다. 그는 이날 오후 출국한다.

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