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Japan Proposes Working Groups on Korean Nuclear Issue

Japanese chief delegate to the six-party talks proposed Wednesday setting up working groups to implement the joint agreement reached in September in the fifth round of talks on Korean nuclear issue.


The two working groups are expected to cover North Korea's nuclear dismantlement and inspection, and economic and energy aid to the North, according to a press release from Japanese embassy in China.


Kenichiro Sasae, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, made the proposal while giving a keynote speech at the plenary session of the fifth round of talks, which started Wednesday morning in Beijing.


In addition to the working groups -- first two tracks to facilitate the negotiations, Sasae also suggested the dialogue on bilateral ties and regional security be a third track, the release said. Japan will work with the countries concerned to draw up roadmap on the third track.


Sasae also pointed out that the three tracks would proceed independently but as part of the overall "package" of the six-party talks.


The process is supposed to be completed as soon as possible, Sasae added.


The Japanese side considers the aim of the six-party talks is to solve the issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Sasae said, adding the Japanese side hopes Japan-North Korea ties could get improved through the six-party talks.


(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2005)


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