SEOUL, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A senior U.S. diplomat said Friday North Korea must implement its prior commitments before the stalled six-nation talks on its denuclearization can resume.
Daniel Russel, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said in Seoul: "The place where we all must focus is in facilitating authentic negotiation in which North Korea comes to the table prepared to implement the commitments it has already made, prepared to live up to the obligations it has," Yonhap News reported. "The focus must be on eliminating North Korea's nuclear program."
Russel arrived in South Korea on his first Asian trip since taking his position in July. His remarks came after he met with South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-hyun and other officials.
The six-party talks among the two Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the United States, started in 2005 and ended in late 2008 after North Korea walked out.
"It is crystal clear from the joint statement in 2005 that the goal of the six-party talks and the goal of all diplomatic efforts here was complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Russel said.
He said North Korea is undermining its security and interests by pursing nuclear weapons, Yonhap reported.
"Only by full compliance with its international obligations with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and only by adhering to its own commitments under the six-party process, can North Korea achieve the security, let alone the respect, prosperity and economic growth," Russel said.