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Fresh nuke talks bid to end nuclear impasse
By Hu Xiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-13 05:55

In response, Chung said he will assist the progress at the Beijing talks when attending an upcoming inter-Korean Cabinet-level meeting in Pyongyang, which are being held at the same time as the talks in Beijing

ROK called yesterday for talks with the DPRK on working out a lasting peace treaty to end five decades of Cold War confrontation on the Korean Peninsula.

Hill arrived in Seoul yesterday for prior consultation before going to Beijing today for full-session talks.

Last week, ahead of his departure, Hill seemed cautious about the prospect of the upcoming denuclearization talks.

"I don't want to say whether I am optimistic or pessimistic," Hill said.

He confirmed that the upcoming meeting will be open-ended, saying that "we will be there as long as it's useful to be there."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said last week that China hopes that all related parties can seize this opportunity with a spirit of mutual respect to find a solution through negotiation that takes into consideration the concerns and interests of all parties and is acceptable to all of them.

The key dispute is the extent to which the DPRK's nuclear programme that should be dismantled.

The US side insists that the DPRK should give up all nuclear programmes, including one for civilian purposes. The DPRK has vowed not to abandon its right to pursue peaceful nuclear activities to generate energy to meet its electricity needs.

In another development, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, fresh from a stunning win in the weekend election, said yesterday he hoped to normalize ties with the DPRK by September next year when he leaves office.

"I cannot promise to sort it out by September, but I need to make efforts to shift the anomalous relationship between Japan and the DPRK to normal ties as quickly as possible," he told a post-election news conference.

"The two countries should make sincere efforts for normalization," Koizumi said, adding that Japan will closely watch the development of Six-Party Talks resuming today in Beijing.

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