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Diplomatic Efforts Pick Up on Korean Nuclear Issue
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All sides trying to resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue are engaged in intense diplomacy to take the negotiations forward after North Korea's US$25 million was transferred from a Macao-based bank to a Russian financial institution, foreign ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said at a regular press conference yesterday.


Qin said China appreciates the positive attitude and constructive efforts of all the sides. He urged them to continue with their positive actions and implement the initial agreements in a balanced and comprehensive manner.


Addressing a regular press briefing, Qin said China has been in constant touch with the other sides to decide on the right time to resume the six-party talks.


International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Olli Heinonen is in Pyongyang to ensure that North Korea has started the process to shut off its main nuclear reactor, he said. Heinonen will brief China about the developments in North Korea after his five-day visit.


After the US$25-million funds dispute was settled, Pyongyang promised to move forward on a February agreement and shut down its Yongbyon reactor in exchange for aid.


Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit North Korea on July 2, following the US nuclear envoy Christopher Hill's unexpected visit to that country last week.


Qin said China welcomes all suggestions that will help realize a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and bring peace and stability to the northeast Asian region.


Zoellick congratulated


China congratulated Robert Zoellick on becoming the World Bank chief.


Qin said China hopes that the World Bank, under the able guidance of the former US deputy secretary of state, will help alleviate poverty across the world.


China also hopes the World Bank will strengthen the already good cooperative relationship between the two sides.


Lebanon violence decried


China has condemned Sunday's "terrorist violence" targeting UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon and hopes the UN and the Lebanese government will conduct a thorough probe into the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.


Qin mourned the deaths of the peacekeepers from Spain and Colombia and sympathized with their families. They died when a bomb hit their armored personnel carrier.


China is willing to work with the international community to help restore peace and stability in Lebanon, Qin said.


(China Daily June 27, 2007)

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