South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) reached a consensus on setting up a framework for the denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula in Beijing yesterday, according to a senior South Korean diplomat.
Following a 100-minute meeting with his DPRK counterpart Kim Kye-gwan on Sunday morning, Song Min-soon, deputy foreign minister and head of the South Korean delegation for the upcoming six-party talks, told a press conference there had been agreement on many issues but declined to give details.
It was the first meeting between them since their arrival in Beijing for the talks, scheduled to begin at 9 AM on Tuesday at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, the venue for the previous three rounds of six-party talks.
They decided to continue bilateral talks to help ensure results in the six-party talks, Song said, which also involve China, Japan, Russia and the US.
The South Korean delegation will also hold bilateral dialogue with the other four delegations, according to Song.
The DPRK and South Korean delegations arrived in Beijing on Friday and Saturday respectively.
The US delegation arrived yesterday afternoon while Japanese and Russian delegations were expected to arrive that evening and Monday morning respectively.
The Chinese side will host a banquet in honor of all five visiting delegations this evening at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
The fourth round of six-party talks, originally scheduled to be held last September, was postponed after the DPRK said the US was hostile towards it.
The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue came to the fore in the 1990s. From 2003 to 2004, the six countries held three rounds of talks in Beijing, but no substantial progress was made.
(Xinhua News Agency July 25, 2005)