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Korean Peninsula Denuclearization Working Group Begins First Meeting
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The six-party talks working group on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula began its first meeting Saturday morning in Beijing, focusing on specific measures of the denuclearization.


The meeting started at 10:00 AM at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, the same venue for the six-party nuclear talks.


Wu Dawei, chief negotiator of the Chinese delegation as well as the head of the working group, presided over the meeting.


Wu said in his opening remarks before the plenary meeting that during the two-day working group meeting, concerned parties may have bilateral consultations on Saturday afternoon, and another plenary session was expected to be held on Sunday.


Representatives of the other five parties are, Minister Kim Song-gi of North Korean Embassy to China, US top nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill, chief negotiator of South Korea Chun Yung-woo, and Russian Ambassador-at-large Grigory Berdennikov.


Japan was represented by its ambassador in charge of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue Suda Akio and its chief negotiator for six-party talks Kenichiro Sasae.


The six parties agreed that the three working groups would meet ahead of the sixth round of talks scheduled to start next Monday.


Besides the denuclearization working group, the energy cooperation working group, headed by the South Korea side, started its first meeting Thursday afternoon. The working group on Northeast Asia security, headed by the Russian side, launched its meeting on Friday.


During the last round of talks, which ended on Feb. 13, the six parties reached consensus on setting up five working groups to discuss details of ways to implement the initial steps of Sept. 19 joint statement.


The other two working groups on the normalization of North Korea-US and North Korea-Japan relations had already held their first meetings in New York and Hanoi in early March, respectively.


(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2007)


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