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China Hopes Six-Party Talks Make Substantive Progress After Break
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Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan said in Beijing Friday that China hopes the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue could make "substantive" progress in the follow-up talks after a period of recess.

The talks ended with a chairman's statement on Friday afternoon, but made no breakthrough in the week-long talks.

China hopes the parties concerned will "find out scenario to properly address differences and strive for substantive progress in the follow-up talks," said Tang.

After "frank and in-depth" discussions on implementing the joint statement and the measures all parties could take in the initial steps, opinions become clearer, stances become closer and consensus are accumulating, said Tang.

Tang made the remarks while meeting with envoys from China, North Korea, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

The full implementation of the joint statement is responsibility and obligation of all parties, and complies with the interests of all parties, Tang said, adding that resolving disputes "needs a gradual process and requires all parties to make political decision and keep confident of the prospect."

The chairman's statement says 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 parties reaffirmed their common goal to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue, the chairman's statement says.

"The six parties agreed to recess to brief their governments and to reconvene at the earliest opportunity," it said.

The second phase of the fifth round of the talks resumed on Monday after a 13-month suspension.

(Xinhua News Agency December 23, 2006)


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