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
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 is expected on Sunday.
Representatives of other five parties are, Minister of North
Korea to China Kim Song Gi, US top 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.
During Saturday morning's plenary session, each of the six
parties made a key-note speech, and expressed their respective
positions concerning the future task of the denuclearization
working group, South Korea chief negotiator Chun Yung Woo told a
press briefing on Saturday evening.
North Korea told other parties it had started preparations for
shutting down the Yongbyon nuclear facilities.
Meanwhile, North Korean delegation stressed whether disablement
of the nuclear facilities could proceed smoothly depends on other
countries' fulfilling of their corresponding commitments, Chun told
a press briefing.
If conditions are mature, North Korean delegation said, it would
take relevant measures on its nuclear facilities, including
declaration of the facilities and disablement, according to
Parties focused on the topics such as the task of the next phase
after the first 60 days, as well as the relations between the
denuclearization group and the International Atomic Energy Agency,
South Korea top negotiator said.
The South Korea delegation also suggested the parties reach
common understanding on the definition of "disablement". Parties
concerned consented and agreed to confer the definition of the word
through working talks, Chun said.
In the afternoon, South Korea, the United States and Japan held
working talks, in which they discussed some hot topics and
definitions concerning the implementation of the Feb. 13 joint
document, according to him.
Hill said Saturday evening the Banco Delta Asia (BDA) issue
would not be a problem for the process of the six-party talks.
"I don't believe we would have any problem with the BDA issue,"
Hill told reporters when he returned the hotel.
He called Saturday a "good day", saying things were "on
schedule". He briefed the North Korea delegation on the BDA
"I gave them some details and facts about the case that we
didn't brief before," Hill said, "I do believe we will fulfill our
commitment on BDA."
He said North Korea gave a statement that is "very balanced" and
indicated they are "under way" and fulfilling their
Hill said he will meet North Korean chief negotiator Kim
Kye-Gwan on Sunday or Monday.
Three working group meetings were held in Beijing ahead of the
fresh round of six-party talks scheduled on 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
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,
(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2007)