Continuing CHAPTER I

Six-Party Talks on DPRK nuclear issue

The DPRK's nuclear programme remained a concern of the international community during 2004. Aimed at resolving the issue, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, the United States had met with the DPRK in the framework of the six-party talks in Beijing for the first time on 27-29 August 2003. The parties resolved to seek a peaceful settlement of the crisis, to address the DPRK's security concerns, to avoid actions that would escalate the situation and to continue the six-party talks.
The second round of the six-party talks took place in Beijing on 25-28 February 2004. All parties again expressed commitment to a nuclear-weapon-free Korean peninsula, to resolving the issue peacefully (through dialogue), and to maintaining peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula. Further, the parties agreed to continue the process and to establish a working group in preparation for the third round of talks.
The third round of talks was held in Beijing on 23-26 June 2004. In preparation, two working group meetings were held from 12-15 May and from 21-22 June 2004. The parties reaffirmed their commitment and emphasised the need to take first steps towards the goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. The parties stressed the need for a step-by-step approach, "word for word" and `actions for actions". The DPRK did not accept the US proposal to freeze its nuclear program within three months. In return for a full disclosure of the DPRK's nuclear activities, submission to inspections, and beginning eliminating its nuclear programs after a preparatory period of three months, the US had offered fuel aid and security guarantees.
A fourth round of talks was scheduled for September 2004 but the DPRK declined. No Six-party talks had been held since June during 2004.