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China, US, ROK Agree Talks Important

China, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the US have stressed in Seoul the importance of restarting six-party nuclear talks at an early date, sources with the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.  

Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is currently visiting the ROK. He met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon, Chairman of the National Security Council Chung Dong-young, and held talks with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lee Tae-fik, and deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator to the talks, Song Min-soon.


Both China and the ROK agreed that it is very important to hold the next round of six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue as soon as possible, sources said.


The two sides urged all involved to conduct earnest consultation over achieving a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and other security issues, saying that it is beneficial for all to be involved in bilateral dialogue within the framework of the talks.


Wu also exchanged views with US top nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill in Seoul, sources said. Both sides said the six-party talks are an effective channel to achieve a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and hoped they would restart soon.


Hill, US ambassador to the ROK and head delegate to the six-party talks, said his country has no hostility towards the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and is ready to hold earnest dialogue with Pyongyang within the framework of the six-party talks and to discuss in detail any issue the DPRK is concerned with.


Since August 2003, China, the US, the DPRK, Russia, the ROK and Japan have held three rounds of talks in Beijing aimed at peacefully resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang refused to attend the fourth round scheduled for last September, citing hostile US policy.


The DPRK announced on February 10 that it was suspending participation in the talks indefinitely and for the first time admitted possessing nuclear arms for self-defense.


(Xinhua News Agency March 4, 2005)

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