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Li Zhaoxing Addresses the Closing Ceremony

The second round of six-party talks on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue concluded Saturday afternoon in Beijing. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing addressed the closing ceremony.


Li Zhaoxing said that the six countries have reached consensus on setting up a working group and the next round of talks.


The importance of the second round is that the six countries held substantial dialogue and made "a big step forward" toward the realization of the final goal, said Li.


He admitted that there are still disagreements among different sides because of historical and other factors. He hoped that relevant sides would take a "constructive attitude" and gradually narrow the differences and expand common ground.


The deputy delegates held consultation from 9:30 a.m. (0130 GMT) Saturday. Liu Jianchao, a member of the Chinese delegation, described the consultation as "serious" and "practical".


Liu stressed that the second round itself is a "good result" in that "substantial issues" have been touched.


The closing ceremony, once scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, has been postponed due to "technical reasons," said a press official.


The second-round talks began here Wednesday. The United States, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan attended the talks.


The first-round talks were held in the Chinese capital last August.


(Xinhua News Agency February 28, 2004)


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