Secretary-General welcomes resumption of six-party talks on Korean nuclear issue

Secretary-General welcomes resumption of six-party talks on Korean nuclear issue

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed news that the six-party talks aimed at achieving a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula are scheduled to resume later this month.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan voiced hope that the participants in the talks, slated to resume next Monday, “will use this opportunity to make meaningful progress towards implementing their Joint Statement of 19 September 2005.”

In that statement, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) committed to abandoning nuclear weapons and rejoining the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in return for benefits on aid and security.

The talks are between DPRK, China, the Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States have been going on sporadically in Beijing for several years, but there has not been a meeting since late last year.

The Secretary-General, who has been calling for a resumption of the six-party talks since the DPRK carried out its first nuclear test in October, pledged today that the UN Secretariat would remain steadfast in its efforts to support the multilateral diplomatic approach.