LEAD: U.S. welcomes reduced regional tension, but N. Korea sanctions continue.
(EDS: UPDATING, ADDING INFO)
A visiting U.S. official in charge of sanctions on North Korea said Wednesday he welcomes the easing of regional tension but that it is important to implement a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at punishing North Korea.
Philip Goldberg, who is on the final leg of his Asian tour which also took him to Singapore, Thailand and South Korea, also said at a press conference in Tokyo that the United States is having ''very good cooperation'' over the issue with China, a traditional ally of North Korea and the chair of the six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing Pyongyang.
Goldberg's visit to Japan comes at a time when North Korea appears eager for dialogue in a shift from acts described by many countries as provocative, as indicated by the release of two detained U.S. journalists following a visit to Pyongyang by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
While noting that Clinton's visit was a ''successful humanitarian mission,'' Goldberg said, ''The resolutions are the resolutions. The resolutions talk about measures to bring about denuclearization, to bring about an end to the ballistic missile program...so the resolutions and the effects of these measures will continue until we are at that point.''
''We support a reduction in tensions, we want to explore every possibility of returning to a process that will lead to those goals, but we are not just going back to talks, that's not what the stated goal is. The talks are for a particular purpose and that's what we are all after,'' he said.
On the effects of the U.N. resolution on North Korea, Goldberg said there is ''some indication that the overall effort is working,'' but he did not elaborate.
He also said the six-party talks, involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, will take on the central role in dealing with the North Korean nuclear problem and that bilateral contact should be part of the multilateral framework.
On Tuesday, Goldberg met with Akitaka Saiki, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and other Japanese officials to discuss implementation of the U.N. resolution. Saiki is also Japan's chief negotiator at the stalled six-party talks.
In April, North Korea said it will pull out of the six-party talks in protest at a U.N. Security Council statement denouncing a rocket launch by Pyongyang that was widely seen as a disguised missile test.
North Korea then detonated a nuclear device in May for the second time, which in turn led to the passage of the U.N. Security Council resolution tightening sanctions on North Korea.
Meanwhile, new U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos told reporters after a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone in Tokyo that the two had ''committed to work closely together on all the issues that Japan and the United States work hand in hand on.''
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|Publication:||Japan Policy & Politics|
|Date:||Aug 31, 2009|
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