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Flexibility, sincerity needed for six-party talks
Updated: 2004-02-23 17:24

Chinese and Russian officials on Monday urged all sides of the six-party talks "to show flexibility and sincerity" and "avoid confrontations" when holding discussions on concrete problems.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart Alexander Losiukov, also heads of the Chinese and Russian delegations respectively, made this call during their consultation for the upcoming six-party talks, due to open on Wednesday in Beijing.

"The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the well proceeding of the six-party talks and reached wide consensus," according to a press release from China's Foreign Ministry.

Wang briefed the Russian side on the preparation of the talks and the major problems facing all sides, the release said.

Efforts should be concentrated on the setup of objectives and framework for resolving the issue, the release said, adding that such efforts are important for pushing the talks in a smooth way.

It is learned that Wang will also hold consultation with officials of the United States, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan before the talks.

The Russian delegation was the first foreign delegation to arrive in Beijing.

Losiukov expressed at the airport his "cautious optimism" on six-party talks on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula. And the Russian side will also consult with the officials of the US, DPRK, ROK and Japan.

Russia supports the proposal of the DPRK to freeze its nuclear program and steps for its implementation required further consultation in the upcoming six-party talks, Losiukov said.

The US, ROK and Japan have already gathered in Seoul from Sunday to Monday for policy coordination.

The US delegation led by James Kelly, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Japanese delegation headed by Mitoji Yabunaka, director-general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, are expected to arrive in Beijing this evening.

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