The Six-Party Talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula are likely
to restart early next month following a flurry of diplomatic activity to fix the
US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, after a whirlwind trip to
the region, said yesterday in Beijing that talks would resume soon and he had
seen "basis for progress" for the talks, which involve the US, the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea (ROK), China, Japan and
"We hope that the Chinese government will be able to announce the start-up of
the talks soon," said Hill, who is also the chief US nuclear negotiator, before
heading for Washington yesterday morning. Hill earlier visited the ROK and Japan
to discuss the issue with his counterparts.
The ROK's Yonhap News Agency quoted sources from the country's foreign
ministry as saying yesterday that China might announce the date for the new
round of talks "either today or tomorrow", but the Chinese Foreign Ministry did
not confirm a date.
Hill's trip to China was followed by DPRK chief negotiator to the talks Kim
Kye-gwan and the ROK chief delegate Chun Yung-woo, who arrived in Beijing
yesterday for discussions with Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, the top Chinese
Before flying to China, Kim held talks in Moscow on Sunday with Russia's
chief negotiator, Alexander Losyukov, on the prospects of resolving the dispute.
Hill suggested yesterday that roadblocks would be cleared at upcoming talks
after he and Kim held three days of bilateral talks in Berlin last week.
"Based on all the consultations we've had in the last week or so, I think we
have a basis for getting together as soon as possible in the six-party process
and making progress," he told reporters.
A ROK newspaper reported yesterday that the DRPK and the US were close to an
agreement on the DPRK freezing its nuclear activity and allowing international
monitoring in exchange for energy aid.
But Pyongyang also demanded greater US flexibility on the financial
restrictions imposed on it as part of initial steps toward ending its nuclear
program, Chosun Ilbo said, quoting diplomatic sources.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso said on Sunday that the earliest possible
date for the resumption of talks was early February, Kyodo news agency reported.
The six nations resumed talks in Beijing late last month after a 13-month
hiatus but recessed without a breakthrough after five days of tough
(China Daily 01/23/2007 page2)