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Six-Party Talks: Lunar New Year Resumption Hopeful
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China hopes the six-party talks could restart ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in mid-February, said Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan on Thursday. Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, falls on Feb. 18.



"The six-party talks constitute the realistic and effective way to solving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula," Tang told the visiting Republic of Korea (ROK) Foreign Minister Song Min-soon.


"Recently the parties concerned have carried out helpful contacts and reached some consensus," said Tang, stating that and China and the ROK will aim to resume the talks at an early date.


Song, who began his three-day official visit to China on Thursday, announced that the ROK is committed to a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue and aims to work closely with China to this end.


Later in the evening, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Song held official talks at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in downtown Beijing.


Both sides conferred on bilateral ties and global issues of common concern, according to the Foreign Ministry.


Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao earlier confirmed that the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is part of Song's agenda on this visit. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is also scheduled to meet with him on Friday.


Song's visit, coming amidst a flurry of diplomatic globetrotting, comprises part of renewed efforts to restart the six-party talks, which involve China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the ROK, Japan and Russia.


All these efforts are of "positive meaning" and lay a foundation for an early resumption of the six-party talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told reporters Thursday, adding that China is consulting with all relevant parties on a “specific time” for resumption.


Relevant parties have reached some understanding, Jiang noted, adding that all parties have expressed their will to resume the six-party talks as soon as possible.


The DPRK said Wednesday the next round of talks aims to initiate the implementation of an agreement signed in 2005.


Kim Kye-gwan, head of the DPRK delegation, said he was satisfied with the results of the talks with the United States, Russia, China and the ROK on how to implement the Sept. 19 agreement.


The DPRK and the United States held long-awaited one-on-one contact and reportedly come to some agreements.


All parties expressed hope for progress on implementing the September 2005 joint statement, through which the DPRK would dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for economic aid and security guarantees.


(Xinhua News Agency January 26, 2007)

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