The first working group meeting of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue started in Beijing on Wednesday morning, according to relevant sources.
The delegations of China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan entered Beijing's Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, the venue of the meeting, before 9:00 a.m.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said Tuesday that Ning Fukui, Chinese ambassador on Korean Peninsula affairs, will head the Chinese delegation and chair the meeting.
Other delegates include Ri Gun, deputy director of American affairs for the DPRK's Foreign Ministry; Joseph R. DeTrani, a US State Department special envoy for Korean affairs; Cho Tae-yong, head of the ROK Foreign Ministry's task force on the Korean nuclear issue; V. Sukhinin, deputy director of the first Asian Department of Russian Foreign Ministry; and Saiki Akitaika, deputy director-general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
It was reported that all the parties regard this meeting as an important step toward resolving the issue, and will exchange views on various topics.
(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2004)