30 July 2005

Six Party Talks?

One of the most striking things about the six party talks in Beijing this week is the fact that it appears four of the six parties have little to do. Earlier in the week, the Russian delegate even announced when he would leave – even if the talks weren’t over.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan have been holding their own set of talks, pausing occasionally to attend the six party talks, it appears. The two met July 25, 26, 28 and 29 for bilateral discussions.

Perhaps this is a sign that this round of talks may actually accomplish something rather than be confused by the myriad (and quite frequently contradictory or at minimum totally unrelated) national interests of the other four players.

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