Negotiators to the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula
nuclear issue said on Saturday they have reached certain agreements
and a joint document would probably be issued on Sunday.
The latest version of a draft joint statement that included the
views of all the parties was distributed by China on Saturday
night, according to Japan's top negotiator Kenichiro Sasae.
"We think that the draft reflects the views of all the
parties...the delegations still have to study the draft and report
to their respective governments, and discussion on the draft will
continue on Sunday morning," said Sasae after attending a banquet
hosted by the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo.
US top negotiator Christopher Hill said that the parties had no
substantive differences and what he cared about was the amount of
details in the statement.
"We don't really have any substantial disagreements among the
parties...we are pretty satisfied that we know the direction we are
heading...and what we are going to accomplish by the end of the
year," Hill told reporters after meeting with Dai and other five
top negotiators at the banquet.
"I think there will be some kind of statement. But I just don't
know how much detail there will be in the statement," Hill
After the dinner they had a short meeting, said Hill, adding
that the Chinese side showed other parties its current progress on
making the statement.
"I think there'll have to be some additional meetings, and then
we will have to get on with some of the tasks that we've laid out,
" he said.
Details, such as what types of terms are necessary to fulfill
the disablement and the sequence of the disabling actions were
discussed in the meeting, Hill said.
Hill said that he is definitely going to leave tomorrow as he
has "other obligations back in States".
Chief negotiator of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Chun Yung-woo
said at a press briefing earlier on Saturday night that the six
parties have reached some agreement on denuclearization and
Chun declined to disclose the details of the document, but said,
"The most important part of it will be the timing of the
declaration and the disablement of nuclear facilities."
According to Chun, discussions on the draft have proceeded well
so far and the talks would very much likely end on Sunday.
Russian chief negotiator Alexander Losyukov also expected a
joint statement to be released on Sunday after continuous
"All six nations will continue to discuss the draft joint
statement in the evening and tomorrow," said Losyukov earlier on
Saturday night, adding that it would be possible to have the
statement released tomorrow.
He also refused to reveal the contents of the draft joint
The six delegation heads met on Saturday morning to discuss the
previous versions of the draft joint statement put forward by
China. No meetings were held in the afternoon, as the parties had
to study the draft joint statement until Dai's meeting and then
attend a banquet that lasted about two hours.
According to a press releases from the Chinese Foreign Ministry,
Dai said that a fresh round of talks was "vitally important" and
there were even harder tasks ahead to be accomplished.
"Your diligent work will be paid back and China highly
appreciates the constructive efforts you have made to promote these
talks," Dai told the negotiators.
The negotiators said that the negotiations in the past three
days were "pragmatic" and "useful" and pledged that their will and
determination to resolve the nuclear issue under the framework of
the six-party talks would never change. They would continue the
hard work until progress could be achieved.
The second phase of the sixth round of the six-party talks
involves China, the United States, the Democratic People's Republic
of Korea (DPRK), the ROK, Russia and Japan. Talks started on
Thursday and are scheduled to end on Sunday.
So far, the DPRK, whose attitude is crucial to the success of
the draft joint statement, has made no public comments.
(Xinhua News Agency September 30, 2007)