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3 Issues Need to Be Addressed in New Six-Party Talks
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Song Min-soon, chief negotiator of South Korea, said that there are three issues that need to be addressed during the fifth round of six-party talks.

Song made the remark at a news briefing after the first plenary meeting in Beijing Wednesday afternoon.

"We need to talk about the nuclear disarmament by North Korea, economic and power assistance to it and the normalization of diplomatic relations among concerned countries", Song said.

Song said all the parties agreed to put the relevant discussions under the framework of the joint statement, and if possible, the discussion will also cover the consequence of how to address these three issues.

Aiming at resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, China hosted four rounds of six-party talks with the latest one adopting the first joint statement in September this year.

In the joint statement, North Korea agreed to abandon all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in exchange for energy aid and security guarantees.

"The current phase of the meeting does not has an objective to achieving an agreement, and it's a preliminary meeting for the substantial consultation in the next phase of the meeting", Song said, suggesting that the achievement of the first phase meeting could be written into a chairman statement or other forms of document describing the progress of the meeting.

According to Song, China, as the host party, presented instructions on the agenda of the meeting and other parties also voiced their stances this morning.

"China hopes concerned parties to proceed their discussion on the implementation of the joint statement and structure of the fifth round of six-party talks", Song said.

Responding to the question on the expert team, Song highlighted that the team is very important to process the consultation, however, when and how to establish expert teams still need to be further discussed.

"We don't have the plan to discuss the composition of the expert team in the current phase of the meeting", Song added.

Song said all the parties spoke positively on the convening of the meeting as scheduled, which reflects the strong will from concerned parties to discuss and substantially implement the joint statement.

He also expressed the South Korea's hope that the discussion should be proceed under the framework of the joint statement, warning that if the discussion breaks the framework, the implementation will be possibly undermined.

Song also revealed that several delegations, including South Korea delegation, have proposed to take some measures to build mutual trust during the process of "from words to actions", and they all agreed that the measures should not be unilateral.

"In another word, the measures should include North Korea's nuclear disarmament and other equivalent contents", Song stressed.

(Xinhua News Agency November 10, 2005)

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