WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Edward J. Markey, the co-chair of the House Bipartisan Taskforce on Nonproliferation, welcomed news reports that North Korea has agreed to return to the Six Party Talks.  The following is his statement:

“Today’s announcement that the Six-Party Talks will resume shortly is welcome news.  President Bush’s long-standing refusal to allow our diplomats to engage with North Korea in one-on-one talks has only given easy political cover for Pyongyang to boycott negotiations.”

“According to reports, it was a three-party meeting between the United States, China, and North Korea which led to Pyongyang to agree to the resumption of negotiations.  I hope that the Bush Administration is willing to demonstrate some creativity in seeking a solution to the nuclear and humanitarian crisis on the Korean peninsula, including moderating its demands for no negotiations outside of the Six-Party framework.  Direct bilateral negotiations with Pyongyang will be necessary if we are going to be successful in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula."

October 31, 2006

CONTACT: Israel Klein