Monday, June 20, 2005

US Asks Kim Jong-Il To Put Up Or Shut Up

South Korea activists protest North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il
The United States said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il should match words with action after he indicated that his hardline communist state could return to stalled nuclear disarmament talks in July. “Statements are one thing, real action is another,” a State Department official said as he underlined the need for caution over Kim’s remarks. South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-Young told reporters after talks with Kim in Pyongyang that the leader told him North Korea could return to the six-party talks in July if Washington “recognizes and respects” his country as a dialogue partner. Kim was also quoted saying Friday that North Korea would rejoin the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and open up to international inspectors once the nuclear standoff with the outside world was resolved. “Let’s just put it in the proper perspective. It is statement for public consumption,” said the State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Even if what Kim exactly stated was the truth, “until there is a little bit more meat to the bones, we are not going to start jumping up and down and waving arms,” the official said, adding there should be, for example, “signs from the Chinese that there is really something in the works.”