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Russia Hails Outcome of Six-Party Talks
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Russia believes that the results of the six-party talks in Beijing will help turn the Korean Peninsulain to a nuclear-free zone and create conditions for better security in the region, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"The results of the fifth round of the talks will help give an additional impetus to the six-party process, the ultimate goal of which is to ensure the Korean Peninsula's nuclear-free status and to create conditions for strengthening peace and security in Northeast Asia and developing comprehensive cooperation between all states in the region," the ministry said in a press release.

The Russian ministry called it crucially important for North Korea to assume its obligation to stop the operation of its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon within a short time, and to admit International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors for necessary checks.

The ministry also said the negotiators have agreed to set up five working groups on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, economic and energy cooperation, a peace and security mechanism in Northeast Asia and normalization of North Korea-US relations and North Korea-Japan relations.

Envoys from the host nation China, North Korea, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia concluded their talks on Tuesday with a joint document on the first step toward the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Under the document, North Korea will shut down and seal the Yongbyon nuclear facility, including the reprocessing facility and invite back IAEA personnel to conduct all the necessary monitoring and verifications.

The parties agreed to the provision of emergency energy assistance to North Korea in the initial phase, and assistance equivalent to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil will commence within 60 days, according to the document.

The next round of the six-party talks is scheduled to be held in Beijing on March 19.

(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2007)

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