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Six-Party Talks Recess, Issuing Chairman's Statement
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The six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue recessed on Friday afternoon after issuing a chairman's statement.

The recess came after five days of negotiations in Beijing by six delegations, namely, China, North Korea, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

The chairman's statement said the six parties agreed to implement the joint statement of September 19, 2005 as soon as possible "in a phased manner".

Under the joint statement, North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for economic aid and security guarantees.

The chairman's statement was announced by China's top negotiator Wu Dawei, with five other top envoys standing beside him.

The parties reviewed changes and developments in the situation of the six-party talks and reaffirmed their common goal and will to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue, the chairman's statement said.

"The six parties agreed to recess to report to capitals and to reconvene at the earliest opportunity," it said.

Calling the discussions over the past five days "useful," the chairman's statement said the parties put forward some "initial ideas".

The parties, through intensive bilateral consultations, had candid and in-depth exchange of views to address their concerns, it said.

Later Friday, Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan met with six chief negotiators at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

"This phase of talks are rather difficult," Tang told chief negotiators.

Formally known as the second phase of the fifth round since 2003, the talks resumed on Monday after a 13-month suspension.

(Xinhua News Agency December 23, 2006)

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