China hails progress in DPRK-US talks

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China welcomes the progress made during the latest round of high-level talks between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.

DPRK said Wednesday it would suspend nuclear tests, long-range missile launches, and uranium enrichment activity as agreed with the U.S. in recent bilateral talks.

"We encourage the DRPK and United States to improve their ties and make their respective contributions to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a written statement.

Hong said China appreciates the reaffirmation made by the DPRK and United States of the promises they made in their Sept. 19, 2005 joint statement. The DPRK promised to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in the statement.

China will make joint efforts with concerned parties to promote the resumption of the six-party talks and play a constructive role in safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula and in northeast Asia as a whole, Hong said.

The DPRK said Wednesday that it will suspend nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and uranium enrichment activities as part of an agreement made with the U.S. during bilateral talks held in Beijing last week.

In addition, the DPRK agreed to allow UN inspectors to return to the country and "verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Nyongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities."

In return, the United States has agreed to provide the DPRK with 240,000 tonnes of nutritional assistance.

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