Envoy says US to continue dual approach of dialogue, sanctions toward North Korea

By Christopher Bodeen, AP
Thursday, September 16, 2010

US envoy says pursing talks, sanctions on NKorea

BEIJING — The United States will continue a dual strategy of seeking talks with North Korea while pursing sanctions over its nuclear programs, the chief U.S. envoy on dealings with the North said Thursday.

Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, in Beijing for two days of meetings with Chinese officials, said there were no signs North Korea was any closer to rejoining the six-nation nuclear talks, which also involve South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia.

“We continue to pursue basically a two-pronged strategy. On the one hand we continue to enforce the sanctions which have been put in place over the last year or more, but simultaneously we remain open to dialogue and constructive engagement,” Bosworth told a news conference.

Pyongyang pulled out of the talks last year to protest international criticism of its long-range rocket launch. Prospects for resuming them have dimmed after the sinking of a South Korean warship in March that Seoul blamed on a North Korean torpedo.

Bosworth said for the talks to restart, North Korea must make good on earlier promises to take specific steps to end its nuclear programs in return for economic assistance and diplomatic inducements.

“We are not interested, as I have said previously, in talking just for the sake of talking … we are interested in results,” Bosworth said.

American, South Korean and Japanese officials also want North Korea to acknowledge responsibility for the warship’s sinking. North Korea denies involvement.

Bosworth said Chinese officials have consulted with the U.S. over the content of recent discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during his recent visit to the country.

Bosworth said he would visit Russia soon, although it is not part of his current Asian trip.

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