Annan Presses For U.S. Talks With N. Korea
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appealed to the United States yesterday to begin direct talks with North Korea to try to resolve the nuclear crisis, saying: "We should talk to parties whose behavior we want to change, whose behavior we want to influence." Annan urged North Korea "not to escalate the situation" with a second nuclear test.
The United States, which has ruled out bilateral discussions with North Korea, met with select Security Council members to fashion a joint response to North Korea's apparent nuclear test.
The United States and Japan are pressing for financial and military sanctions on Pyongyang and for international inspections of all cargo from North Korea. China favors a more modest resolution that would only target trade directly related to nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The United States and Japan are expected to discuss a revised text with the 15-nation council today, and will press for adoption in the coming days. But U.S. and European officials conceded that they have not reached a breakthrough with China.
-- Colum Lynch