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Six Parties Raise Proposals to Solve Nuke Issue

The parties to the third round of six-party talks all raised proposals when the negotiations entered the second day to solve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. 

In the briefing after the second-day closed-door meeting, Chinese delegation member Zhang Qiyue said that on Thursday parties discussed the detailed proposals put forward by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK). China, Russia and Japan also put forward their own solution plans.


Cho Tae-yong, deputy head of the ROK delegation, said the US delegation voiced its opinions on the program of "freezing for compensation" set forth by the DPRK delegation and on the ROK delegation's proposal.


The delegations to the talks held that substantial consultations should be taken as a starting point to press ahead toward the solution to the issue, and meanwhile, all relevant parties have become aware that significant differences remain between the proposals of the DPRK, the United States and the ROK.


Mitoji Yabunaka, head of the Japanese delegation, said Japan would participate in the international energy assistance for the DPRK if the DPRK's nuclear-freezing initiative were confirmed.


Russian delegation head Alexander Alexeyev said the on-going talks will not go without any result. "Discussions on these proposals were underway for seeking common platform," he said.


Since the delegations from the DPRK, the United States and the ROK put forward their proposals Wednesday, neither the DPRK nor the United States have openly made any comments. Chinese delegation head Wang Yi said all parties concerned were willing to treat other counterparts' plans seriously and in a spirit of looking forward, which embodied mutual respect and equal consultation.


The ROK side confirmed that the DPRK and the United States held bilateral consultation Thursday afternoon for more than two hours, and other bilateral consultations between the ROK and China, between Japan and the DPRK were also held Thursday afternoon.


The United States and the ROK revealed separately their proposals Wednesday evening. The US delegation made a seven-page proposal to give the DPRK three-month preparatory period for dismantlement and removal of nuclear facilities, and to require the DPRK to offer the US side a listing of nuclear activities at various time. The proposal also set ways to solve the security concerns of the DPRK.


The ROK delegation proposed detailed plans and corresponding measures on the abandonment of the nuclear programs. Lee Soo-hyuck, the ROK delegation head, said there were no differences between the US and ROK on the major orientations and principles on resolving the nuclear issue. The DPRK still did not reveal its proposal.


"Now the DPRK and the United States are both faced with opportunities and obstacles," said Wang Yizhou, a researcher on international relations from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "The DPRK would be under much pressure if it is determined not to give up nuclear plan, and the United States also hopes to win domestic support by achieving something from the talks." 


Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing gave a dinner in Beijing Thursday evening for the six delegations. In his address at the dinner, Li said this round of talks has a good beginning. Various parties have set forth new proposals and new ideas, which added originality to the talks.


However, good things never come easy, Li acknowledged. "We need to resort to our patience, wisdom and creativity to surmount obstacles, tide over twists and turns in fulfilling our glorious mission."


(Xinhua News Agency June 25, 2004)

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