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North Korea: Six-Party talks agreement.

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Media contact: Malcolm Cole (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 Angus Mackenzie (Departmental) 02 6261 1555


FA 130 4 October 2007


I welcome the announcement on 3 October of the agreement reached at the 27-30 September Six-Party Talks in Beijing on “Second-Phase Actions for the Implementation of the Joint Statement”.

In particular, I welcome North Korea’s commitment in that agreement to declare all its nuclear programs, and to disable its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, reprocessing plant and fuel fabrication facility by the end of 2007. Australia has been encouraged by the progress we have seen in recent months, in particular the shutdown and sealing of the Yongbyon facilities under IAEA supervision and the constructive discussions that have taken place in the Working Groups during August and September. This latest agreement will maintain this positive momentum.

As I told North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su-hon when I met him in New York last week, Australia is ready to support substantial progress in the Six-Party Talks, including through the provision of bilateral development assistance. The implementation of this agreement will provide a basis for moving ahead with such support, and for developing other aspects of the bilateral relationship. The Government looks forward to discussing relevant matters with North Korea as progress towards denuclearisation continues.

I note North Korea and Japan have committed themselves in this latest document to working to resolve outstanding issues of concern through intensive consultations. I welcome this commitment and urge North Korea to work positively to address Japan’s concerns on the abductions issue.

I commend the efforts of the six parties to date and encourage all of them to continue to fulfil their commitments and remain constructively engaged in the Six-Party Talks process.

The inter-Korean summit being held in Pyongyang from 2-4 October is another important opportunity for further constructive dialogue with North Korea. I look forward to further progress at those talks to help consolidate the gains made in the Six-Party Talks.