U.S. president George Bush has approved a plan according to which the USA and North Korea will begin talks in Beijing next week, NBC TV company and The New York Times newspaper reported citing sources in the U.S. administration.
According to these sources' information, China agreed not only to hold talks on its territory but also to directly participate in them.
Speaking before journalists in Washington on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell stressed that 'last week the Russians made a statement which, as it seems to me, has helped, and many elements are now added together. Asked about a possibility of talks between the USA and the DPRK, Powell said that today he is not ready to announce anything about any meetings, the level of the participants or the multilateral character of the talks. But he also confirmed that all these questions are now being discussed by the USA with other countries through the diplomatic channels. No matter at what level the talks begin and no matter what their composition is, one thing is abundantly clear - they must embrace the opinions and points of view of all the neighbours in the region, the U.S. Secretary of State stated.
In connection with the forthcoming talks the high-placed representative of the George Bush administration also said that the USA reserves the right to draw other countries in them if need be. To all appearances, South Korea and, most likely, Russia are meant.
The U.S. delegation at the talks will be headed by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly.