PYONGYANG: Kim Jong-il, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea (DPRK), yesterday urged the countries involved in a pact committing
Pyongyang to dismantling its nuclear program to follow through on their initial
He made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Foreign Minister Yang
Jiechi, who conveyed a message and greetings from President Hu Jintao.
"Recently, there have been signs that the situation on the Korean Peninsula
has eased," Kim told Yang.
Kim said "all the parties should implement the initial actions" of the
disarmament agreement reached in February. The initial steps include the
shutdown of the DPRK's main reactor in exchange for economic aid.
called for the "full implementation" of the existing agreements on the nuclear
He expressed hope that all parties will "continue to take positive steps,
fulfill their commitments and take initial actions in a comprehensive and
balanced manner so as to push forward the Six-Party Talks."
Kim said China worked hard for the resolution of the nuclear issue and the
DPRK hopes to continue to communicate and coordinate with China on the matter.
Yang also discussed the February agreement with his DPRK counterpart Pak
Ui-chun, and both sides agreed to make joint efforts to implement it, Foreign
Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a news briefing.
Yang "expressed China's consistent stance on using peaceful means and
consultation and dialogue to resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue".
Yang's trip - his first since taking up his post in April - comes after
Pyongyang reaffirmed its pledge last week to shut down its Yongbyon reactor
following the resolution of a banking dispute between Pyongyang and Washington.
On Saturday, Olli Heinonen, the deputy director of the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA), wrapped up a five-day visit to the DPRK, which included a
tour of the Yongbyon facility. Heinonen said he reached a tentative agreement
with Pyongyang on how the agency will verify and monitor Yongbyon's closure.
A report by Heinonen made available yesterday to The Associated Press says
that the DPRK stated it is willing to provide the agency experts with necessary
technical information, access and other help needed to shut down the nuclear
The report will be discussed by the IAEA's 35-nation board, which is expected
to approve it as early as Monday, paving the way for the beginning of the
mission overseeing the shutdown and eventual dismantling of the Yongbyon
facility. That would effectively start the process of ending the DPRK nuclear
Qin said China would consult the other nations involved in the talks on the
date for the resumption of the next round of Six-Party Talks. The last was held
US nuclear envoy Christopher Hill had said earlier the talks might be held
during the second week of July.
Jin Canrong, deputy dean of the School of International Studies of Renmin
University of China, noted that ties between Washington and Pyongyang have
"Given the favorable conditions, I believe Yang's visit will facilitate the
resumption of the Six-Party Talks."
Pyongyang is the second leg of Yang's three-nation tour that has taken him to
Mongolia. He is slated to leave Pyongyang today for Indonesia.
China Daily, Xinhua and agencies
(China Daily 07/04/2007 page1)