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Differences on verification hold back six-party nuclear talks
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Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei said in Beijing Wednesday that differences on how to verify nuclear facilities of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a major obstacle holding back the six-party talks.

"Parties involved have not reached an agreement on the issue and efforts are being made to find a solution acceptable to all," said Wu, China's top negotiator to the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

Wu, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks on the sidelines of the top political advisory body's annual session, which started Tuesday.

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 agreement on nuclear verification, as the DPRK and the United States differed over related issues.

Despite current difficulties, Wu said the all parties agreed that the talks should be continued and efforts should be made to push forward the negotiation process.

Wu said breakthroughs have been made over the past five years as the DPRK has agreed to disable its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon in exchange for economic and energy assistance, and the United States no longer regards the DPRK as a sponsor of terrorism.

"The efforts have helped maintain peace and stability in northeast Asia," said Wu.

"The frank and sincere communication has also helped improve understanding between the parties, which will have a far-reaching influence on their future relations," Wu said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2009)

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