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China Hopes for Peaceful Solution to Korean Nuclear Issue

The Chinese government hopes for a peaceful solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and an early resumption of the six-party talks, said China's representative at the UN atomic energy agency's seasonal meeting in Vienna Wednesday.

Zhang Yan, permanent representative of China to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Vienna, made the remarks at the meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


"China always believes that the continuation of the six-party talks aimed at achieving the goal for denuclearization through peaceful and diplomatic efforts is the wisest choice that conforms to the interests of all parties concerned and the international community as a whole," he said.


"Thanks to the joint efforts of China and other parties concerned, the six-party talks have achieved important progress since their launch: the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free Korean Peninsula has been established; the direction of the peaceful talks has been agreed, and the principle of 'verbal to verbal, action to action' has been affirmed," he said.


All these have laid a basis for further in-depth talks and should be cherished by all, he added.


He also noted in his speech the concern among the international community brought about by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s February 10 declaration of possessing nuclear weapons.


He said that China has reiterated to the DPRK, through various channels, its persistent position that the issue should be resolved through peaceful means, making it clear that a nuclear-weapons-free peninsula is in the best interests of the DPRK.


Meanwhile, he said that China has kept in close contact with other parties, hoping that they will create, in a constructive spirit, an atmosphere and conditions favorable for the early resumption of the six-party talks.


He also expressed his hope that the United States in particular will demonstrate further flexibility in addressing the DPRK's concerns.


The DPRK's nuclear issue is complicated and its deep roots lie in the long years of hostility and mistrust between Washington and Pyongyang. At present, the six-party talks offer the most realistic and effective approach to the issue, he said.


The IAEA Board of Governors' meeting, which opened Monday and will last for four days, is an intergovernmental forum for consultations and exchange of information. Iran's nuclear issue and that of Egypt are also high on the agenda.


The IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors is working on a resolution urging the DPRK to return to six-party talks, diplomats said.


By the end of June 2004, three rounds of six-party talks, which brought together China, the United States, the DPRK, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan, had been held in Beijing.


Also on Wednesday, the DPRK's Foreign Ministry released a statement to announce that the DPRK will go to the six-party talks "any time if the US takes a trustworthy sincere attitude and moves to provide conditions and justification for the resumption of talks."


(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2005)

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