DPRK Foreign Ministry Spokesman on Second Phase of Fourth Six-Party Talks

Pyongyang, August 29 (reprinted from the Korean Central News Agency -- KCNA)

A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry gave the following answer to a question put by KCNA on Aug. 29 as regards the issue of holding the 2nd phase of the fourth six-party talks:

"As known, at the first phase of the fourth six-party talks held between late July and early August, the participating countries agreed to open the 2nd phase of the talks in the week beginning on Aug. 29 and reached understanding of the need to refrain from words and deeds obstructive to the resumption of the talks during their recess. However, no sooner had the talks gone into recess than the United States began the large-scale war exercises "Ulji Focus Lens-05" targeted against the DPRK and staged such charade as appointing a "presidential envoy for the human rights issue of north Korea", an issue that had been put on hold till recently.

This has thus eliminated all possibilities of holding the second-phase of the talks in the week beginning on August 29.

What the U.S. has done is little short of spitting at the DPRK. It has seriously insulted its dialogue partner and broke faith with the DPRK.

It is unimaginable for the DPRK to sit at the negotiating table with the U.S. at a time when the powder-reeking war exercises targeted against it are under way. Under such situation the DPRK, through the New York contact channel, has notified the U.S. side of its stand that it can not return to the six-party talks while those war exercises are going on and its view that the talks may be resumed in mid-September when the atmosphere chilled due to the saber rattling is likely to improve. The U.S. expressed understanding of this view.

It is the stand of the DPRK to open the second-phase of the fourth six-party talks in the week beginning on September 12 when one will be able to view that the war exercises have worn down a bit.

This is the utmost magnanimity the DPRK can show under the prevailing situation.