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Six-Party Nuclear Talks Resume in Beijing
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The chief negotiators of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue gathered at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing this morning, ushering in a new round of negotiation on the peninsula's denuclearization.


Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, heading up the Chinese delegation, presided over the talks launched at 11:00 AM.


The heads of the six delegations from China, the US, Japan, Russia, North and South Korea attended the opening ceremony.


Addressing the gathered officials, Wu appreciated the "constructive" efforts the six parties and their respective governments have made for the resumption of the talks.



"The talks are of vital importance that bridge the past and the future," he said. "The current round of talks will emphasize and fix on specific measures to fully implement the joint statement adopted by the six parties during the fourth round of talks in September 2005."


He focused on the "complicated" and "sophisticated" nature of the issues to be discussed and settled during the fresh round of talks, adding that all relevant parties are shouldering a "glorious" and "arduous" mission.


"China sincerely hopes all the six parties exert political wisdom, come up with political determination and courage, and build a mutual-beneficial future while increasing mutual trust," he said.


Wu further urged parties concerned to renew contributions to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, normalization of diplomatic ties between relevant countries and construction of a new structure for a harmonious Northeast Asia.


After the opening ceremony, the six parties would hold a plenary session, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, before launching a series of bilateral consultations this afternoon.


Before the talks were officially launched, the six parties held a meeting between chief negotiators.


The chief negotiators for the six nations are: Wu Dawei, Chinese vice foreign minister; Kim Kye-gwan, North Korean vice foreign minister; Christopher Hill, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs; Chun Yung-woo, South Korean assistant minister of foreign affairs and trade; Kenichiro Sasae, director-general for Asian and Oceanian affairs of the Japanese Foreign Ministry; Sergei Razov, Russian ambassador to China.


Launched in 2003, the six-party talks have already undergone five rounds. However, the talks stalled more than a year ago when North Korea walked out in response to US sanctions.


In late November, the chief negotiators of the US, Japan, North and South Korea came to Beijing to join their Chinese counterpart in laying foundations for resuming the talks.







(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2006)

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