S Korean FM: Six-party talks unlikely if DPRK behind naval disaster

16:28, April 20, 2010      

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Resuming six-party nuclear disarmament talks would face a challenge if the Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is found to have been behind a recent naval disaster, South Korea's top diplomat said Tuesday.

"If North Korea (DPRK) is found to have been involved (in the incident), I believe it'd be difficult to reopen the six-party talks. It would be hard to create an atmosphere to discuss long- term prospects for its denuclearization because the North will have to be held accountable for its behavior,"South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said in a briefing.

His remark coincides with ongoing investigations into a cause of the mysterious sinking of South Korean warship that killed scores of sailors, which initially sparked speculation on possible involvement of Pyongyang.

Investigators have tentatively concluded that the sinking was caused by an external explosion, which some alleged could have been torpedo attacks from the DPRK despite its recent denial.

The issue can be brought to the United Nations Security Council anytime once Pyongyang's suspected involvement is confirmed to be true, but Seoul remains open to all possibilities, Yu said.

Efforts are still underway to revive the moribund denuclearization talks, which Pyongyang unilaterally quit in April 2009 in protest of the U.N. condemnation of its missile tests, but the odds for an immediate resumption seem unfavorable, he added.

Source: Xinhua


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