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FM: Six-party talks achieve 'significant progress'
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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in Beijing on Sunday evening the six-party talks on Korean nuclear issue has achieved "significant progress", adding China is ready to work with all related parties to push the talks into a new stage.

Yang made the remarks when meeting the press along with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after their one-hour talks in Beijing.

Yang said both had agreed that the six-party talks and the denuclearization progress on the Korean Peninsula achieved "significant progress", which accords with the interests of all parties.

China appreciated the major efforts made by North Korea and other relevant parties, Yang said. But there are still a lot of work to do in the following stage, he said.

North Korea submitted its long-awaited nuclear declaration to China, host of the six party talks, on June 26 and demolished the cooling tower at the Yongbyon nuclear reactor on June 27.

The United States accordingly announced on June 26 that it may remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism within 45 days if the country meets all its obligations under the six-party talks.

Yang said China is ready to work with all parties to take the opportunity, overcome the difficulties and implement the remaining work in the second-phase in a comprehensive and balanced manner, so to push the talks into a new stage.

Rice said the Korean Peninsula issue is at the crossroad of turning "a source of conflict" into "a source of cooperation".

She thanked China for "the leading role" it has taken in the six party talks and the hard work it has done.

As for the recent schedule of the six-party talks, Yang said it is appropriate to rejoin the top negotiators "pretty soon".

"The meeting of the heads of delegations is conducive to the implementation of the remaining work in the second-phase, and starting a new phase," Yang said.

He said to a foreign ministers' meeting of the six parties will help to maintain and enhance the momentum of the six-party talks and expedite the process of solving the Korean nuclear issue. But China has to consult with the other parties about the goals and specific schedules of the meeting, he added.

The six-party talks, also include South Korea, Japan and Russia, were launched in 2003. So far, the six parties have held six rounds of talks in Beijing.

(Xinhua News Agency June 30, 2008)

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