Night Watch

North Korea-China: China's Xinhua news service reported that North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan engaged in a strategic dialogue in Beijing today with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui. Kim also spoke with China's special envoy for Korean nuclear talks, Wu Dawei.

According to Chinese media, Zhang said China attaches great importance to bilateral relations and is ready to work with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to promote the long-term, sound and stable development of these relations.

He said it is in the interests of all parties concerned to realize denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, safeguard its peace and stability and resolve relevant issues through dialogue and consultation.

China supports dialogues among parties concerned and hopes to resume the six-party talks at an early date, he said.

Kim said the DPRK values the bilateral friendship and is willing to work with China to advance friendly cooperation.

"It is the wish of the deceased DPRK leader Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il to realize denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula," he said.

The DPRK is willing to hold dialogues with all related parties, he said, adding that the country is also ready to join in any form of talks, including the six-party talks, in order to resolve the nuclear issue through peaceful negotiations.

Comment: North Korean coverage of the strategic dialogue mentioned that it occurred; that the men talked about issues of mutual concern and that the talks were held in a comradely and friendly atmosphere. No North Korean media mentioned the North's willingness to engage in "any form of talks" to settle the nuclear issue.

The key sentence is that in which Kim Kye Gwan said denuclearization is the wish of the two deceased Kims. Kim Chong-il was fond of quoting that as his father's dying wish. In fact, the late Kim Il-sung actually vowed that North Korea would never possess nuclear weapons, before it started having success in building a nuclear program. Then that quote was forgotten, except for the fervent North Korean wish that US nuclear weapons would be removed permanently from South Korea.

Denuclearization for North Korea means the US disarms or commits to never threaten North Korea with nuclear weapons. It does not mean North Korea would destroy its weapons or program.

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