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China calls for concerted efforts to advance six-party talks
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All parties concerned should make concerted efforts to advance the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in Beijing on Saturday.

The most important task now was to advance the talks to a new phase, Yang said at a press conference on the sidelines of the country's parliamentary session.

"All parties should act according to the agreement made on Sept. 19, 2005 and joint hands to fulfil the second phase action plan at an early date, and advance the talks to the third phase," he said.

All parties concerned agreed to implement the second-phase actions of the September 19 Joint Statement last December, to complete in parallel the disablement of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities and the provision of economic and energy assistance equivalent to one million tonnes of heavy fuel oil.

Yang said "important progresses" have been made in holding the talks. However, he admitted the talks encountered difficulties at present.

"Having difficulties is normal in handling a complicated problem," he said.

"China will continue to make special and constructive efforts to advance the talks," he said.

The six-party talks, involving the DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea, China, Japan and Russia, have been focusing on the settlement of nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula since August 2003.

The latest round of the talks ended in early December last year, with no substantial progress on nuclear verification, as the DPRK and the United States differed over related issues.

(Xinhua News Agencies March 7, 2009)
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