China: Negotiations "deepening" in nuclear talks

Updated: 2006-12-19 21:59

BEIJING -- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo hosted a banquet on Tuesday evening for the envoys attending the six-party talks on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, saying the negotiations are "deepening" despite twists and turns in the talks.

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Dai urged the parties concerned to show sincerity and make utmost efforts to take pragmatic steps in realizing denuclearization on Korean Peninsula and normalization of bilateral relations.

But Dai underlined complexity of the nuclear issue, saying "it is natural that some fluctuations and difficulties come up" in the nuclear disarmament talks.

The six-party talks entered the second day of negotiations Tuesday, which resumed in Beijing on Monday after a 13-month hiatus, but with analysts predicting that negotiations will be tough.

The current round of talks will emphasize and fix on specific measures to fully implement the joint statement in September 2005, under which the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for economic aid and security guarantees.

Formally known as the second phase of the fifth round since 2003, the talks involving China, the DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan and Russia, are set to be open-ended.

It was the first talks since the DPRK conducted an underground nuclear test on October 9, triggering protests from the international community and complicating the Korean nuclear issue.

"The talks are aimed to expand consensus, increase understanding, narrow differences and remove estrangement through dialogue and consultations," said Dai.

In the past two days, all parties have held in-depth exchanges of views on implementing the joint statement in the form of plenary meeting, chief negotiators' meeting and one-on-one contacts, and increased mutual understanding, said Dai.

It is of great significance for the parties to reaffirm the pledges made the in the joint statement, discuss the ways and procedures to implement the statement and push forward the peace process of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Dai added.

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