EU delegation visits North Korea for talks

6th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 March 2007, Beijing (dpa) - An EU delegation travelled Tuesday to Pyongyang for talks on the implementation of a six-party agreement seen as the first step in dismantling North Korea's nuclear programme, German officials said. The EU officials planned two days of talks in Pyongyang to "promote the rapid implementation" of the agreement reached on February 13 in Beijing, a statement from the German embassy in Beijing said. The European Union has supported international efforts to denuclearize the Korean p

6 March 2007

Beijing (dpa) - An EU delegation travelled Tuesday to Pyongyang for talks on the implementation of a six-party agreement seen as the first step in dismantling North Korea's nuclear programme, German officials said.

The EU officials planned two days of talks in Pyongyang to "promote the rapid implementation" of the agreement reached on February 13 in Beijing, a statement from the German embassy in Beijing said.

The European Union has supported international efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and "welcomed the efforts made by the six-parties" at talks involving the United States, North Korea, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, said the statement from Germany, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

"The delegation will emphasize that the EU expects the six-party talks to continue with a view to implementing all the agreements included in the joint statement of 19 September 2005," it said.

The February 13 agreement broke a near five-year deadlock in attempts to get North Korea to stop its efforts to develop a nuclear bomb and dismantle its nuclear programme - attempts that failed when North Korea carried out its first nuclear test in October.

Earlier, North Korea had pledged to give up its nuclear programmes in return for aid and security guarantees, but talks stalled for a year, and no moves were made to implement that September 2005 agreement until last month when Pyongyang agreed to shut down its only nuclear reactor.

In exchange for its cooperation, North Korea is to receive substantial aid payments, large oil deliveries and the possibility of normalized relations with the United States and Japan.

The agreement also set up a series of rapid meetings within the first 30 days that include a visit by the chief international atomic inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, to North Korea on March 13.

US and North Korean officials met in New York late Monday to discuss normalizing diplomatic relations that have been on ice for more than half a century and meetings between Japan and North Korea are planned this week in Hanoi.

The EU delegation to North Korea represents the "troika" of the European Union - the German EU presidency, the European Commission and the Secretariat General - as well as Portugal, which will take up the EU presidency in the second half of the year.

"For the EU, the trip also is of an exploratory nature since the outcome of the visit will provide important guidelines for discussion within the EU as to its future relations with North Korea," the statement said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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