DPR of Korea: Annan welcomes progress in latest multilateral talks

2 March 2004

Praising the latest round of multilateral talks concerning the Korean peninsula, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today they have “opened a pathway to full-fledged and continuing negotiations” about achieving a durable peace in the region.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan said the six-party talks held in Beijing last week “produced a noticeable step forward toward a nuclear-weapons-free Korean peninsula.”

The Secretary-General commended the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States and the other countries involved – China, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the Russian Federation – for their commitment to peacefully resolving the issues. He also singled out China for its “effective role as host and facilitator.”

Mr. Annan said the so-called Beijing process will still “confront serious challenges, particularly in light of the lack of mutual trust and confidence amongst some of the parties.”

He said his Personal Envoy to the DPRK, Maurice Strong, will work with the parties to try to mobilize the international community behind the push for peace on the Korean peninsula.