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DPRK, US hold bilateral consultations
Updated: 2004-02-25 17:28

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States will Wednesday hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue, said the Republic of Korea (ROK) delegation head Lee Soo-Hyuck.

Lee, also the ROK's deputy minister of foreign affairs and trade, briefed a press conference on the morning talks, describing the atmosphere as "calm and down-to-earth." He said the delegations put forward many "constructive suggestions," and have reached consensus on peacefully resolving the nuclear issue on the peninsula and realizing a nuclear-free peninsula.

Lee said during the four-and-a-half-hour morning meeting, the parties made clear their respective positions on the nuclear issue, and the ROK side has in its keynote speech again raised its proposal of resolving the problem in three steps.

The ROK side held that freezing the nuclear programs is a step toward finally abolishing the nuclear programs, and all the nuclear programs should be frozen and can be completely verified, Lee said.

According to Lee, ROK has also suggested that six-party consultations be convened every other month, with working group meetings in between, to resolve the nuclear issue. It has also proposed the first working group meeting of deputy delegation heads take place in two weeks after the ongoing second round of talks.

Deputy heads of the delegations are to continue the consultations Wednesday afternoon, Lee said.

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