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Envoys Arrive for Six-Party Talks
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Senior officials from China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan arrived in Shenyang on Wednesday for a working group meeting on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


US top negotiator Christopher Hill (R) speaks to journalists with Chun Yung-woo (R2), top negotiator of the Republic of Korea (ROK), during a press briefing in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, August 15, 2007.


The two-day meeting to be started Thursday afternoon will focus on measures to facilitate the denuclearization process, according to China's Foreign Ministry.


Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, who is also chief Chinese envoy to the six-party talks, arrived early on Wednesday.


Top ROK negotiator Chun Yung-woo told reporters at the airport on Wednesday morning the Shenyang meeting would mainly focus on specific issues of the declaration of the DPRK's nuclear programs.


The main goal of the meeting was to set deadlines for the disablement of the DPRK's nuclear facilities and the declaration of its nuclear programs, Chun was quoted as saying.


A series of bilateral talks among the six nations will be launched since Wednesday. Chun was expected to meet with top US negotiator Christopher Hill later on Wednesday, sources said.


Ri Gun, who heads the DPRK delegation, arrived on Wednesday afternoon.


Ri, also director of the DPRK Foreign Ministry North America Bureau, seemed optimistic about the meeting, as he was reported assaying it had "good prospects". DPRK chief negotiator Kim Kye-gwan, who met with his Chinese and US counterparts earlier this week, will be absent from the meeting.


The Japanese delegation headed by ambassador in charge of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue Akio Suda and the Russian delegation headed by ambassador-at-large Grigory Berdennikov also arrived on Wednesday afternoon.


The Shenyang meeting, one of the five meetings of working groups under the six-party talks, is also part of the efforts to pave the way for the second session of the sixth round of talks in early September and a ministerial meeting afterwards.


The chief delegates to the six-party talks agreed in their last meeting in July to hold meetings of the five working groups in August. In early August, a working group meeting on economy and energy cooperation was held at the truce village of Panmunjom on the Korean Peninsula.


The first meeting of the denuclearization working group was held in Beijing on March 17 and 18 ahead of the sixth round of talks.  


(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2007)

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