Accessibility links

Powell: N. Korea Must Make First Move to Defuse Standoff Over Nuclear Issue - 2003-03-28


Secretary of State Colin Powell said the United States is pursuing "every diplomatic option" to try to resolve the simmering crisis over North Korea's recent nuclear moves. Mr. Powell held talks Friday with South Korean Foreign Minister Yoon Young-Kwan, who urged the Bush administration to take a "bold initiative" with regard to Pyongyang.

The talks followed a Washington speech by the South Korean foreign minister in which he called on the Bush administration take a "bold initiative" with North Korea along the lines of President Richard Nixon's opening to China in 1971.

Meeting reporters with his South Korean colleague, Mr. Powell said the United States has not been distracted by the Iraq war and is pursuing a variety of options and venues for defusing the crisis with Pyongyang. But he said any big overture to the north must await a return to compliance by Pyongyang with its international nuclear obligations.

"I think a lot is out there waiting for North Korea once they realize their obligation to comply with the international agreements and bilateral agreements they have previously entered into with respect to nuclear weapons," Mr. Powell said.

It was confirmed at the U.S. State Department that South Korean President Roh Moon-Hyun will make his first U.S. visit for talks with President Bush sometime in May.

XS
SM
MD
LG