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Vice-Minister leaves for US to discuss Korean issue
( 2003-07-18 07:06) (China Daily)

Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo has left for the United States to discuss the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, the Foreign Ministry revealed yesterday.

Foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan announced the trip yesterday at a regular news conference and said Dai will stay in the United States for about two days.

Dai is the second Chinese senior official, following Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi, to visit the United States in 20 days to discuss the standoff.

After his Russian visit earlier this month, Dai ended a four-day visit to Pyongyang this week during which he met the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) leader, Kim Jong-il, and presented a letter from Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"What China is doing is lowering the temperature, promoting talks and encouraging the two sides to make peace,'' Kong said.

On the nuclear issue, China will continue to "make unwavering, active, responsible and constructive efforts,'' Kong said, noting the latest US trip was agreed upon during a telephone discussion between Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Powell on Wednesday.

China stands for dialogue to solve the nuclear issue and maintains that "Beijing talks'' should be continued, Kong said.

The United States and the DPRK held talks in April in Beijing, which was an effort to move forward after the nuclear standoff erupted in October.

For the United States and the DPRK, the key obstacle has been disagreement over the format for new talks. Pyongyang wants direct talks with Washington, while the United States is after multilateral talks.

Kong stressed yesterday that it is more important to resume dialogue rather than focusing on disagreements.

"It is important to get the parties back to the negotiating table and continue the Beijing talks,'' Kong said.

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