Nations want six-party talks institutionalized
Delegates from the six nations involving in resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue are hoping to discuss ways of fixing their discussions to regular intervals to avoid long delays in the process.
The Chinese government appointed Ning Fukui, an ambassador-level official with the Foreign Ministry, as head of Korean Peninsula affairs earlier this year. He has paid several visits to the relevant nations to prepare for the second round talks.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell voiced the hope on February 20 to fix the six-party talks mechanism, so that all sides don't have to wait another six months to decide the date of the next round of talks. He also hoped to set up a working group to have regular consultations.
Joseph R. DeTrani, a US State Department special envoy for Korean affairs, visited Beijing on Feb. 21 to discuss the upcoming talks.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losiukov said on Feb.19 that Russia had proposed to set up multilateral working group to push forward the process of the Korean nuclear issue. Russia also hoped to settle issues of common concern through a written document.
Russia had said it was proper to establish a working group to promote negotiations of the Korean nuclear issue as early as January.
Lee Soo-Hyuck, the ROK's deputy minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Feb. 3 that the talks would not be expected to resolve the nuclear issue, but a working group was conducive to more practical consultations.
A senior official with the ROK government was reported as saying the six parties were reaching consensus on the need to meet at fixed times.
Li Dunqiu, an expert of Chinese Academy of Sciences and secretary-general of the Chinese Society for the Study of Korean History, said the fixed consultation mechanism would speed up the process of peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue.
A consultation with fixed times, places and officials would be conducive for the parties to exchange information, to eliminate differences, and to improve efficiency.
According to the reports, the ROK has put forward specific plans to establish the mechanism of institutionalized consultations, and required that the duration of the talks should be three to four months.
"Although the DPRK and Japan still did not express their opinion, the two sides would be sure to benefit from the mechanism," Li said.
Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losiukov reached extensive consensus at a consultation held shortly after Losiukov's arrival in Beijing on Monday.
Losiukov is in Beijing to attend the second round of the six-party talks on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula scheduled to open Wednesday.
PRESS CENTER OPENS
A press office set up by host country China for the second round of six-party talks went into operation Monday afternoon in the Diaoyutai Grand Hotel in downtown Beijing.
Some 500 reporters, from home and abroad, have applied to the Chinese Foreign Ministry to cover the talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue due to start this Wednesday, sources said.
The press office will be open to journalists from 8:00 a.m. every morning during the talks.