Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk has called on the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson MP to use UK influence to reintroduce the disbanded “six-party talks” to help resolve the current crisis over North Korea’s missile programme. Mr Chalk was speaking during a debate on the situation in the Korean Peninsula in Parliament on Tuesday (5th Sept).
The six-party talks were originally established to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns as a result of the North Korean nuclear weapons programme. A series of meetings with six participating states, South and North Korea, China, USA, Russia and Japan were held in Beijing. Talks were discontinued by North Korea in 2009.
Speaking in the debate, Alex Chalk asked the Foreign Secretary: “Is it not a reality that further sanctions are unlikely to persuade this depraved regime to give up its illegal nuclear programme, even though it is beggaring its people in the process? Has the time not come to press again for six-party talks to include the North Korean regime if necessary?”
Boris Johnson agreed: “My hon. Friend is very thoughtful on these matters. What we want is to freeze the North Korean nuclear programme, and diplomatic means are the best way forward.”
Mr Chalk explained: “The level of hostility between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump has ratcheted up to a very dangerous level. It is very concerning that the North Korean regime has gained inter-continental ballistic missile capability. Behind the bravado, it is also clear that they are actively working to build a miniaturised nuclear payload.
“It’s not every day that I agree with the Chinese Government, but the Korean peninsula is entering a critical phase. Now is absolutely the right time to try and get the different parties together to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear programme and prevent tensions escalating beyond the point of no return. I know that the Chinese Government is pushing for this approach and they are certainly best placed to bring Kim Jong Un back to the table.”