Two Koreas, US, China said to discuss Korean peace treaty

08:31, December 14, 2009      

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US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth briefs the media in Beijing on December 12. The United States and North Korea agreed to discuss a peace treaty on the Korean peninsula at four-nation talks involving the two nations, China and South Korea, a news report said Sunday.

The United States and North Korea agreed to discuss a peace treaty on the Korean peninsula at four-nation talks involving the two Koreas, the United States and China, a South Korean news report said.

The "common understanding" was reached when US envoy Stephen Bosworth visited Pyongyang from December 8 to 10, Yonhap news agency said, citing an unnamed Seoul official.

A peace treaty would replace an armistice to formally end the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Bosworth's trip to Pyongyang was to persuade North Korea to return to six-party nuclear disarmament talks -- which also group South Korea, China, Japan and Russia.

Though failing to set a date for the North's return to the six-party process, the US envoy said both sides agreed on the need to resume nuclear disarmament talks during what he termed "very useful" meetings, the AFP reported Sunday.

Bosworth met with top North Korean officials, including Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok-Ju, in Pyongyang.

"I know that there has been a common understanding that four-party talks should be activated to discuss a peace regime if the six-party talks resume," an unnamed Seoul official told Yonhap.

"It was North Korea that first proposed to discuss a peace treaty at the four-nation talks, not US-North Korea dialogue, and the US agreed to it."

Four-party talks refer to the defunct peace negotiation framework that existed from 1997 to 1999 among the two Koreas, the United States and China.

North Korea had previously insisted that a peace treaty should be sealed through bilateral talks with the United States only.

In April, angry at international censure of its long-range rocket launch, North Korea declared the six-party talks "dead". It later said it had resumed making weapons-grade plutonium.

Agencies – People's Daily Online

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