Jeffrey LewisSix Party Talks Joint Statement

Well, the Six-Party Talks in Beijing have produced a Joint Statement.

The Statement is pretty much the same set of principles as 1994 Agreed Framework, with all the tough stuff deferred into the future.

  • Has North Korea owned up to its uranium enrichment program, as Assistant Secretary Kelly demanded as the very definition of complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament? No, not unless you are willing to read a lot into the decision to make “nuclear weapons programs” plural.
  • What about Secretary Rice’s criticism that the Agreed Framework: the benefits were up front and the North Korean actions were later? The Joint Statement doesn’t actually get around to defining the pleasant sounding principle of “commitment for commitment, action for action”

Of course, the Joint Statement was only meant to be a statement of principles—it is supposed to defer the details (and any devils). The State Department press release made clear that November will be crunch time:

The next big hurdle facing the six-party process is how to begin implementing the agreement. Early November is the target time frame for discussing the sequence of events necessary for complete dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and satisfactory international verification, which Hill called “a key element of this agreement.”

Here is the full text.

Office of the Spokesman
September 19, 2005

Joint Statement of the Fourth Round of the Six-Party Talks
Beijing, 19 September 2005

The Fourth Round of the Six-Party Talks was held in Beijing, China among the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America from July 26th to August 7th, and from September 13th to 19th, 2005.

Mr. Wu Dawei, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, Mr. Kim Gye Gwan, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK; Mr. Kenichiro Sasae, Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; Mr. Song Min-soon, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the ROK; Mr. Alexandr Alekseyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; and Mr. Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the United States attended the talks as heads of their respective delegations.

Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei chaired the talks.

For the cause of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia at large, the Six Parties held, in the spirit of mutual respect and equality, serious and practical talks concerning the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula on the basis of the common understanding of the previous three rounds of talks, and agreed, in this context, to the following:

1. The Six Parties unanimously reaffirmed that the goal of the Six-Party Talks is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.

The DPRK committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards.

The United States affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons.

The ROK reaffirmed its commitment not to receive or deploy nuclear weapons in accordance with the 1992 Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, while affirming that there exist no nuclear weapons within its territory.

The 1992 Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean
Peninsula should be observed and implemented.

The DPRK stated that it has the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The other parties expressed their respect and agreed to discuss, at an appropriate time, the subject of the provision of light water reactor to the DPRK.

2. The Six Parties undertook, in their relations, to abide by the
purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and recognized norms of international relations.

The DPRK and the United States undertook to respect each other’s sovereignty, exist peacefully together, and take steps to normalize their relations subject to their respective bilateral policies.

The DPRK and Japan undertook to take steps to normalize their relations in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration, on the basis of the settlement of unfortunate past and the outstanding issues of concern.

3. The Six Parties undertook to promote economic cooperation in the fields of energy, trade and investment, bilaterally and/or multilaterally.

China, Japan, ROK, Russia and the US stated their willingness to provide energy assistance to the DPRK.

The ROK reaffirmed its proposal of July 12th 2005 concerning the
provision of 2 million kilowatts of electric power to the DPRK.

4. The Six Parties committed to joint efforts for lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

The directly related parties will negotiate a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula at an appropriate separate forum.

The Six Parties agreed to explore ways and means for promoting security cooperation in Northeast Asia.

5. The Six Parties agreed to take coordinated steps to implement the afore-mentioned consensus in a phased manner in line with the principle of “commitment for commitment, action for action”.

6. The Six Parties agreed to hold the Fifth Round of the Six-Party Talks in Beijing in early November 2005 at a date to be determined through consultations.

The State Department has posted a number of other documents related to the Six Party Talks.


  1. Marko Beljac (History)

    More of a question than a comment. Firstly, this is a great website and a real credit to its creator.

    More to the point. I notice that the US has expressed “respect” for the North’s position that it has a right to a civilian nuclear programme. This is the DPRK’s right under the NPT. But I recall a while back that the Bush administration expressed a desire to re-write the NPT compact as being essentially a deal whereby non-weapon states are allowed to receive assistance for civilian nuclear programmes subject to the appropriate safeguards.

    Can this provision of the six party statement be read as a Bush administration backflip from this position?

    I note that the parties agreed to arranging permanent peace in North-East Asia. If true, this would be a huge bonus for regional and global security that is not much discussed in reporting on the six party statement.