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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


20 March 2005

Rice Urges North Korea To Return to Six-Party Talks

Benefits to Libya after nuclear weapons disavowal cited by secretary

By Bernard Chabel
Washington File Special Correspondent

North Korea should return to talks aimed at creating a nuclear weapons-free Korean Peninsula as a step toward ending that country’s international isolation and improving the lives of its people, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said March 20.

In February, North Korea announced it had nuclear weapons and was abandoning talks with South Korea, Russia, China, Japan and the United States -- commonly referred to as the Six-Party Talks -- aimed at eliminating nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has much to gain through the negotiations, Rice said in an interview with KBS TV in Seoul, South Korea.

"The North Koreans have been told by the president of the United States, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and now by myself that we have no intention to attack North Korea or invade North Korea," she said.  "The six parties are prepared to give the North Koreans security assurances in the context of the Six-Party Talks. There is an offer on the table to review North Korea’s energy needs. We, the United States, have been one of the largest humanitarian assistance donors to North Korea … we don’t link our humanitarian assistance to what is going on in the Six-Party Talks, but it shows we care for the North Korean people."

The United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia all have called for resumption of the talks, Rice said. "There’s a lot on the table if the North Koreans want to respond," Rice said in another interview in Seoul with MBC TV.

Libya is beginning to see benefits from the international community after it made the "strategic decision" to give up weapons of mass destruction, Rice told MBC TV. Following the verifiable dismantling of its weapons, Rice said, "the lifting of commercial sanctions has meant that business and investment is beginning to flow into Libya. The United States has had high-level visitors to Libya in the last few months. Libya is beginning to emerge as a place in the international system where everybody wants to do business. And the Libyan people are going to be better off for it."

A transcript of the interview with KBS TV is available at:


A transcript of the interview with MBC TV is available at:


(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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