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Six-Party Talks: Negotiations 'Deepening,' Says China
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Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo held a banquet on Tuesday evening for the envoys attending the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, saying the negotiations are "deepening" despite the many differences in opinion.


Dai urged the parties concerned to be sincere and make pragmatic steps towards denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and normalizing of bilateral relations.


But Dai underlined the complexity of the nuclear issue, saying "it is natural that some fluctuations and difficulties come up" in the nuclear disarmament talks.


The six-party talks entered their second day of negotiations Tuesday, which resumed in Beijing on Monday after a 13-month hiatus, but with analysts predicting tough negotiations.


The current round of talks will emphasize on specific measures to fully implement the joint statement made in September 2005, under which North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for economic aid and security guarantees.


Formally known as the second phase of the fifth round since 2003, the talks involving China, North and South Korea, the US, Japan and Russia, are set to be open-ended.


These are the first talks since North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test on October 9, triggering fury from the international community and further complicating the Korean nuclear issue.


"The talks are aimed to expand consensus, increase understanding, narrow differences and remove estrangement through dialogue and consultations," said Dai.


In the past two days, all parties have held in-depth exchanges of views on implementing the joint statement in the form of plenary meetings, chief negotiators' meetings and one-on-one contacts, helping mutual understanding, said Dai.


It is of great significance for the parties to reaffirm the pledges made in the joint statement, discuss methods for implementing the statement and move the peace process forward, Dai added.


(Xinhua News Agency December 20, 2006)

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