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China Welcomes IAEA Chief's Visit to N Korea
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China welcomes the upcoming visit by the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to North Korea and hopes the trip will produce a positive outcome, China's top envoy to the UN in Vienna said on Wednesday.


"We are confident that the Secretariat (led by Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei) will play a constructive role in facilitating the full implementation of the Joint Statement," Ambassador Tang Guoqiang told a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors, referring to the agreement made at the six-party talks in Beijing.


The latest round of six-party talks, involving China, the US, North and South Korea, Russia and Japan, ended in Beijing on February 13 with a joint statement on the first step toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


Under the agreement, North Korea will shut down and seal its Yongbyon nuclear facility, including the reprocessing plant, and will invite IAEA inspectors to return to the country to monitor and verify its actions.


On the invitation of North Korea, ElBaradei will visit Pyongyang on March 13 and 14 to work out the details of shutting down and sealing the North Korea's nuclear facility, which includes the production of plutonium, and redeploying inspectors by mid-April.


"The current session of the Board of Governors is the first convened against the backdrop of major progress achieved in the six-party talks on the denuclearization of the Peninsula," said Tang.


Tang said that as the holder of the presidency of the six-party talks, China would continue to maintain close contact and cooperation with all related parties and make active efforts to achieve a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, and to maintain the peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia.


(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2007)

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