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Question of the Day
Five nations — China, Russia, South Korea, the United States and Japan — have been trying for years to negotiate with North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for aid and other concessions. Pyongyang abandoned those talks last year.
Washington and Seoul also accuse the North of sinking a South Korean warship in March. Forty-six sailors died in an explosion that an international team of investigators say came from a torpedo fired from a North Korean submarine.
On Monday, North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun reiterated his nation’s denial of involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan warship, Indonesia’s Marty Natalegawa said in Jakarta, Indonesia, after meeting with the diplomat.
Mr. Natalegawa, his country’s foreign minister, said Mr. Pak told him North Korea is ready to return to the nuclear disarmament talks.
“Indonesia welcomes DPRK’s readiness for the dialogue … and encourages efforts to revive the six-party talks process as a solution mechanism for all problems in the Korean peninsula,” Mr. Natalegawa told reporters.
“We can’t repeat the kind of cycle we’ve been through in a number of previous occasions where North Korea engages in talks, makes commitments and then abandons those talks and reneges on those commitments,” he said. “We have to break those cycles, especially in the wake of the Cheonan incident.”
Associated Press writers Jean H. Lee in Seoul and Irwan Firdaus in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.
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