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Meeting on Korean Peninsula Denuclearization Begins
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Negotiators to the six-party talks convened their second working group meeting on Korean Peninsula denuclearization Thursday afternoon, focusing on the definition of disablement of Korean nuclear programs.


"Most of our meetings had to do with disablement, and we are trying to see whether we can come up with some common understanding of disablement, as you can imagine there are many ways to disable nuclear weapons," US chief envoy Christopher Hill told reporters Thursday evening.


In Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, delegates from China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan, held the first plenary session of the second denuclearization working group meeting.


Prior to that, the six sides have had bilateral consultations respectively.


Hill said DPRK experts told the other sides in the plenary meeting of the scope and task of the disablement, the declaration and how they see that.


Lim Sungnam, deputy negotiator of the ROK delegation to the working group meeting, said the DPRK side clearly reaffirmed their stances as to declare their nuclear programs in a comprehensive way, as well as their view of the objects and ways of disablement.


"They made positive statement, but we need to be specific," Hill said. He added that the declaration "needs to involve all nuclear programs and nuclear materials". "We need to make sure we have some clarity on that."


According to Japanese chief delegate to the working group meeting Akio Suda, experts from all sides are still in discussion this evening on the technical issues.


"There will be lots of work to be done. We do have to come up with some common definition of disablement," said Hill.


He said Friday will be "a busy day", as there will be a lot of multilateral and bilateral experts meetings.


"This is a basis to make progress," Hill said, who is positive to find some common grounds in Friday's meeting, "or at least what the differences are."


Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, who chaired the meeting, said in his opening remarks Thursday afternoon the Chinese delegation is "prepared to work with all other delegations to ensure that our session will make positive results."


The two-day meeting, one of the five working group meetings under a February agreement of the six-party talks, came after Pyongyang's shut-down and sealing of its Yongbyon nuclear facility in July and its acceptance of verification of the International Atomic Energy Agency.


The chief delegates to the six-party talks agreed in their last meeting in July to hold the meetings of the five working groups in August.


The Shenyang meeting was held days after the working group meeting of economy and energy cooperation at the truce village of Panmunjom on Korean Peninsula from August 7 to 8, and is part of the efforts to lay ground works for a second session of the 6th round of six-party talks in early September and the ministerial meeting afterwards. 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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