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Official: Grasp Opportunity to Realize Peace

China's Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi Friday urged the parties concerned to grasp the opportunity to peacefully resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and translate it into reality.

In a meeting with Joseph R. DeTrani, a US State Department special envoy for Korean affairs, who was on a special visit to China for working consultations, Wang stressed that the result hinged on attitudes of the relevant sides.

The second round of six-party talks, involving China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan, is to begin on Feb 25. Their first talks were held in Beijing last August, and lasted three days.

Wang said that the opportunity has come for further promoting a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue, since the forthcoming talks will start discussions on substantial questions.

China, as the host nation, has done a good deal of preparatory work, but whether the opportunity can be transformed into reality depends on the attitudes of the concerned parties, Wang noted.

He urged all sides, for the sake of peace and stability on the peninsula, to grasp the opportunity for peace, and send positive signals, and take the opportunity presented by the talks to narrow their disparities and build a consensus, and try to lay down specific goals for solving the problem.

The US side said the country cherishes a positive attitude toward the new round of talks, and hopes the talks will result in concrete progress and proceed in the future, pledging its willingness to exercise necessary flexibility on the issue.

Ning Fukui, an ambassador-level official with the Chinese Foreign Ministry in charge of affairs concerning the Korean Peninsula, Friday held working consultations with DeTrani on specific issues concerning the second round of talks.

DPRK develops nuclear technology on its own: official news agency

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Saturday refuted a US allegation over the "transfer of nuclear technology" to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) by a Pakistani scientist, claiming that the DPRK possessed a self-reliant nuclear deterrent force.

"The New York Times on Feb 12 said that a Pakistani nuclear expert visited the DPRK more than 10 times to help develop technology of nuclear weapons," said the KCNA in a commentary.

"Lurking behind it is an ulterior intention to make the international community believe it, and disarm the DPRK just as the US did in Iraq and justify its brigandish demand that Pyongyang scrap its nuclear program first at the upcoming six-party talks," the KCNA said.

It said the United States intended to violate the sovereignty of independent states under such pretext.

The DPRK's self-reliant nuclear power industry and its nuclear deterrent force for self-defense were indigenously developed and perfected by DPRK scientists and technicians, the KCNA stressed.

"The DPRK was compelled to change the purpose of its nuclear power industry based on graphite-moderated reactors and possess a nuclear deterrent force for self-defense because the US nuclear threat increased as the days went by and the outbreak of a dangerous war of aggression became imminent," the commentary said.

Pakistan nuclear scientist Qadeer Khan admitted in early February that he had leaked nuclear secrets to Libya, Iran and the DPRK. He said it had nothing to do with the Pakistani government and army.

On Feb 10, a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry denied the claim and accused the United States of hyping the story, saying it was "nothing but a mean and groundless propaganda."

(Xinhua News Agency February 22, 2004)

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No Change in US Position on DPRK Nuke Issue: Official
Flexibility Needed for 'Substantial' Six-party Talks
New Six-party Discussion Offering Hope of Peace
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