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Six Parties Gather in Beijing for Nuclear Talks

With Japanese delegation's arrival in Beijing on Sunday afternoon, the delegations of all the six parties involved in the negotiations on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, once again, gathered in the Chinese capital to prepare for a new round of talks.


The six parties, including China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan, will have the second meeting on the working group level from Monday to Tuesday and then hold the third round of six-party talks from Wednesday to Saturday at Beijing's Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.


The ROK, the United States and Japan were said to have a trilateral meeting on Sunday afternoon in Beijing, coordinating their stances in the upcoming negotiations, according to the ROK Yonhap (United) News Agency.


A senior official of the Russian delegation said upon arriving at the Beijing international airport that Russia expected the third round of six-party talks to produce certain realistic results as the parties involved shared some consensus in stances.


The Russian official said Russia's position on the nuclear issue remained unchanged as it was at the first and second rounds of talks and the Russian side hoped the third round of talks will go on smoothly.


However, the Japanese side said at the airport that the six-party talks were challenged by many difficulties and the results cannot be predicted as the talks have not started yet.


No immediate comments from the other three delegations, among which the ROK delegation arrived on Sunday and the delegations from the DPRK and the United States got to Beijing respectively on Saturday.


Russian Ambassador at Large Alexander Alexeyev has been appointed Russia's new special envoy to the third round of six-party talks, replacing Alexander Losyukov, Russia's current ambassador to Japan and former Deputy Foreign Minister, who headed the Russian delegation at the first and second rounds of talks in August 2003 and February this year.


The heads of the other delegations remained unchanged, who are China's Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi, DPRK's Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the United States James Kelly, ROK's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lee Soo-Hyuck and Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry Mitoji Yabunaka.


The delegation heads from the five foreign parties are expected to arrive in Beijing respectively from June 21 to 22, according to sources.


As host of the six-party talks, China earlier called for "reasonable expectations" on the third round of negotiations in view of the intricacy of the nuclear issues. But Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said China will continue to engage itself in promoting peaceful negotiations to push the six-party talks forward.


(Xinhua News Agency June 21, 2004)

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