The Sept. 25 Outlook article "You Say Okjeryok, I Say Deterrent" touched upon the fourth round of the six-party talks held Sept. 19. The joint statement of these talks was negotiated and adopted in English. Therefore, it is important to understand what was meant by use of the word "abandon." The writer focused on the word pogi hada, the Korean translation of "abandon," and claimed that it "could be interpreted to mean leaving the weapons in place rather than dismantling them."

This is wrong. North Korea will not only dismantle its nuclear weapons and programs, it also will give up the intention of having those weapons and programs.

Second, the writer argued that one goal of "the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" could be to allow the Pyongyang regime to link inspections in the North to demands that South Korea, as part of the Korean Peninsula, also be subject to verification.

Although the Korean Peninsula includes both South and North Korea in a geographical sense, the clear understanding among the countries in the talks was that the subject was denuclearization of North Korea. Nevertheless, my government is well aware of how this phrase can be interpreted and has in mind appropriate measures to deal with it in case this becomes an issue.

Third, while the writer seems to see the joint statement only as an agreement between the United States and North Korea, it was a common product of the six participating countries, including the Republic of Korea.


Minister for Public Affairs

Embassy of Korea