Wu visits Pyongyang, nuke headway in sight
( 2003-10-29 17:22) (chinadaily.com.cn)
A high-ranking Chinese delegation, headed by top legislator Wu Bangguo,
arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday for a "goodwill visit," which has raised hopes
of new headway into resolving the year-long standoff between the United States
and N. Korea over the latter's nuclear issues.
Wu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee and a
member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party of
China Central Committee, was invited by the N. Korea's Supreme People's Assembly
Presidium and the cabinet.
His entourage includes Zeng Peiyan, Chinese vice-premier, and Vice Foreign
Minister Wang Yi, who is responsible for Asian affairs. Wang hosted the
six-nation talks on the nuclear issue in Beijing in late
President of the N. Korea's Supreme People's Assembly Kim
Yong-nam hosted a red-carpet welcome ceremony for Wu. Kim also accompanied Wu to
inspect the guards of honor, according to a Xinhua report.
In a written
speech delivered at the airport, Wu said that under the leadership of the
Workers' Party of Korea, the Korean people established people's government
through self-reliance and onerous efforts during the past half century, making
"glorious accomplishments in socialist revolution and construction".
"Taking along the path of socialism of the Korean style", Wu said, "the
Korean people scored remarkable progress in socialist construction, improvement
of inter-Korean relations and expansion of external exchanges in recent years."
China had heartfelt delight for all these deeds, Xinhua quoted Wu as
Wu said that China and N. Korea are friendly neighbours. After
the advent of the new century, he said, "the traditional friendship which was
forged and nurtured by leaderships of old generations witnessed further
consolidation and development thanks to the direct care form top leaders and
joint efforts made by the two peoples".
"This visit by the Chinese
delegation will mark a new chapter in N. Korea-China friendship," Pyongyang's
Rodong Sinmun newspaper said. "The traditional N. Korea-China friendship is an
unfailing friendship forged by the leaders of the two countries."
Beijing has played a key role in bringing Pyongyang to the negotiating table
for three-way talks in Beijing in April, and the six-nation negotiations in
August, also in the Chinese capital.
Although both meetings ended inconclusively, Pyongyang has lately responded
positively to the United States President George W. Bush's pledge that
Washington will not invade N. Korea in the form of a joint declaration or
document to be signed by the United States, China, Russia, S. Korea and Japan.
Bush made the promise following a summit talk with Chinese President Hu Jintao
on the sideline of APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) leaders meeting in
Thailand last week.
Pyongyang initially said the US announcement as "laughable", but later said
it will consider it provided simultaneous reciprocal actions taken by Washington
to solve the nuclear problem.
S. Korean diplomats has said there are hopes that another round of six-party
Beijing Talks could be held before year end.
"The two sides are expected to have a friendly and in-depth exchange of views
on regional and international affairs and other issues of common interest,"
Wu Bangguo hoped his visit could further enhance the
traditional friendship and cooperation between the two parties, two countries
and two peoples for the common prosperity and development, and make contribution
to the maintenance of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in the
region as well.