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North Korea forum ends on a high note
Matt Moneyhan, Red and Black Staffwriter

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U.S. and North Korean representatives said they came away from the three-day University-hosted forum on nuclear weapons with hopeful goals of peace.

Frank Jannuzi of the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee said there was a broad agreement between North Korea and the United States, and peace should be achieved through diplomatic gains.

While no joint statement on nuclear policies was offered to the public, both countries agreed the format of the discussions allowed for successful dialogue and relationship building.

Korean delegate Myong Gil Kim of the Institute of Disarmament and Peace said, "We were able to express our individual views and listen to the American views."

"We want to take a role that will be very conductive to a resolution," he said.

U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) said he thought the talks allowed for clear and open communication.

"There was a broad consistency that this kind of (informal dialogue) was very helpful in efforts to build understanding and to bridge differences between the parties," Weldon said. "I leave here convinced that more than ever that we can resolve this peacefully."

The purpose of the forum was to openly discuss issues of nuclear weapons construction and possession, while improving the relationship between North Korea and the United States.

The Center for the Study of Global Issues (GLOBIS), of which University professor Han Park is director, hosted the three-day event at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

Park served as the forum's moderator, and Wednesday afternoon he said he was pleased with the results.

"The forum exceeded my expectations," Park said. "We had a very frank discussion given the nature of the closed session, and (North Korea and the United States) were quite at ease at expressing their views."

Weldon said he was appreciative of the University as well as Park, who initiated the forum and opened his home to delegates from both countries.

"Perhaps this could only take place at the University of Georgia, and that is a tribute to the faculty, the president and most importantly Han Park," Weldon said.

Park and Jannuzi said another forum on peace talks is planned to take place in Bejing in December.

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