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Wang: Talks key to peaceful solution
( 2003-08-28 07:01) (China Daily)

Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi said yesterday that the Beijing six-party talks mark another important step towards the peaceful resolution of the Korean nuclear issue.

Wang Yi (L) answers reporters' questions. [Xinhua]
Wang, who heads the Chinese delegation to the talks, said in his opening speech that the six-party talks are not only a continuation of the tripartite talks last April but also mark another important step towards the peaceful solution of the Korean nuclear issue.

Before the formal beginning of the talks, some 20 reporters were allowed to enter the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse for five minutes to take photos, but they were not permitted to raise questions. This would be the media's first chance to have a close look at the six-party's closed-door meeting. In the following two days, media will not allowed to enter the meeting room but may get to see the participants if they hold press conferences.

The three-day talks, involving China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and the United States, are due to end Friday morning.

The heads of the delegations for the six-party talks in Beijing shake hands before the start of the three-day talks at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse August 27, 2003. They are (left to right) Mitoji Yabunaka, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of Japan's Foreign Ministry; James Kelly, United States assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs; DPRK Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Yong-il; Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi; Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losiukov and Lee Soo-hyuck, ROK deputy minister of foreign affairs and trade.[newsphoto.com.cn]

After the first day, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met the delegations and held a welcoming dinner, saying that it is the common hope of all delegates to see a stable, peaceful and non-nuclear Korean Peninsula, according to sources.

Only the Japanese delegation gave a briefing after yesterday's talks, reiterating its stance on a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula.

Observers of the Korean issue said that it is impossible to solve all the problems through one or two rounds of talks, but that the Beijing six-party talks are a platform that will help ensure that the participants will continue talking in the future.

"The six-party talks are not only a realistic way to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsular through peaceful means but also an effective approach to promote dialogue among the countries concerned,'' said Zhu Feng, a professor at the School of International Studies and director of the International Security Programme at Peking University.

Differences and confrontations can be reduced gradually as long as the six-party talks continue, said Zhu.

Piao Jianyi, executive director of the Centre for Study of Korean Peninsula Issues of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that at present the first step for the DPRK and the United States was to build mutual trust.

"But it will take a quite long time,'' Piao said.

Pyongyang has said it will not halt its nuclear programme without first obtaining a security guarantee and a non-aggression pact with Washington. However, the United States has claimed that the DPRK should first scrap its nuclear ambitions.

The route to solving the Korean nuclear issue is a difficult and challenging one and it needs courage, wisdom and imagination on the part of the participants, said Zhu.

"The six-party talks will explore ways to successfully solve the issue,'' said Zhu.

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