China, North Korea fail to break ice on nuclear talks

March 24 | Updated: Mar 25 2005, 05:30am hrs
China failed to convince North Korean Premier Pak Pong Ju to rejoin six-nation talks on dismantling the countrys nuclear weapons programme, Chinas Foreign Ministry said.

Its clear we did not achieve the breakthrough we had thought during Premier Paks visit, said ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao at a regular briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

Pak is in China this week for talks with state leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao. Pak will return to North Korea on March 27.

Its clear there is a huge gap between the US and North Korea, Liu said. Both sides still lack trust and have not taken adequate action to regain each others trust.

North Korea still distrusts US sincerity, Liu cited Pak as saying. Its clear the US would not keep its word. The US still suspects North Korea would not give up its nuclear weapons.

President George W Bush said on Wednesday North Korea must end its nuclear weapons ambitions to avoid isolation and to contribute to world peace, tranquility and stability.

If North Korea wants the way forward, if you want to be accepted by the world and not be isolated, get rid of your weapons programs, Bush said in Waco, Texas. Its not just the United States of America saying that.

The US, Russia, Japan, South Korea and China are attempting to resume talks with the North Korean regime aimed at ending the threat of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean leader, must listen to the message of disarmament from the countries, Bush said during the news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Mexican President Vicente Fox after a trade and security summit.

North Korea is prepared to return to six-nation talks aimed at ending its nuclear weapons program in the coming days, if the conditions are ripe, North Korean Premier Pak Pong Ju said after meeting yesterday with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, his first stop on a five-day visit to the country.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said this week in Tokyo he thinks North Korea will rejoin the negotiations.

Kim has said his country wants guarantees the US wont attack and pledges of oil and economic aid as preconditions for more talks. We have said we would be prepared to consider North Koreas energy needs, Rice said on March 21 in Beijing.

Bloomberg