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    Officials meet for new 6-party talks
Guo Nei
2004-05-11 06:16

The first working group meeting of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue will begin tomorrow as scheduled, sources from the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed yesterday.

An official of the office of Korean Peninsula nuclear issue of the ministry who did not want to be identified said the aim of the closed-door discussions is to prepare for the next round of six-party talks to be held before the end of June.

Ning Fukui, Chinese ambassador on Korean Peninsula affairs, will head the Chinese team at the meeting.

The open-ended meeting will bring together diplomats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, China, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan.

Members of the group are expected to hold some one-on-one talks today in Beijing.

The working group meeting comes on the heels of a China-tour late last month by Kim Jong-il, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and visit by a US Vice-President Dick Cheney shortly before that.

The DPRK's leading newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said yesterday that Pyongyang is ready for reform-oriented and trustworthy measures if the US turns to "a reasonable and realistic stance" and abandons its "hostile stance" against the DPRK.

"Whether an outcome will be achieved at the six-party talks to resolve the nuclear problem depends solely on the US attitude," it said. "There are no changes in our basic position to find a peaceful solution to the problem through talks and our republic continues to demonstrate patience and flexibility while continuing to participate positively in the six-party talks."

(China Daily 05/11/2004 page1)