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Roh's Opportune Visit
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Friday's one-day working visit by Republic of Korea (ROK) President Roh Moo-hyun to China was part of a flurry of high-level diplomacy going on in the world.

Roh's trip attracted widespread attention as the two neighbors of North Korea compared notes on how to deal with the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

The crisis caused by North Korea's nuclear test topped the agenda of the summits between Roh and Chinese leaders - President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiaobao.

China and the ROK have been of the same view on handling North Korea nuclear issue. Both at the Six-Party talks last September and for North Korea's missile test in July, the two countries had effective and feasible co-ordination between high-ranking officials.

This approach helps stabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Roh's visit, his second trip to China since he took office in 2003, provided a timely opportunity for the leaders of the two countries to exchange opinions.

They have been opposing the use of force against North Korea after it announced its nuclear test on Monday.

For the past eight years, the ROK has tried to engage North Korea with trade and aid.

Roh said the "sunshine" policy has "helped dispel people's concerns by easing tensions in South-North relations and helped economic activities by ensuring confidence in economic stability."

The summits between Chinese and South Korean leaders were of vital significance as the United Nations Security Council considers a resolution on North Korea.

While the Council squabbles about how to respond to the North Korea's nuclear test, diplomacy remains at work in big countries.

As a representative of President Hu Jintao, State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan met with US President George W. Bush on Wednesday and flew to Moscow on Friday for two days of talks with Russian officials. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister is currently in East Asia.

All these diplomatic endeavors are being done in an attempt to work out a solution to bring North Korea back to negotiations.

International calls emphasize the urgent need for North Korea to return to the Six-Party talks, which have sought to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

The steadily expanding relations between China and the ROK since the formalization of diplomatic ties in 1992 helps the two countries better co-ordinate their efforts in regional and international affairs, particularly the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

Peaceful settlement of the issue through dialogue is in the interest of all parties involved.

This is the most realistic and reasonable approach.

(China Daily October 14, 2006)


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