Six-Party Talks key to Korean solution

By Li Xiaokun (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-03-05 07:24
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BEIJING - China understands and supports Pyongyang's wish to hold dialogues with Washington and Seoul respectively outside the frozen Six-Party Talks, Beijing's special envoy for the Korean Peninsula affairs said on Friday.

Still, he insisted that it should be a step leading to the resumption of the six-nation talks, which Beijing said is the "most fundamental and effective" way to keep stability on the peninsula, and that China is against any preconditions for restarting the talks.

"Some people want a dialogue between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States first, and some are expecting one between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea (ROK). We understand and support those (proposals)," Wu Dawei, the special envoy, told China Daily while attending the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.

Though talks between Pyongyang and Seoul have yet to yield noticeable achievement, Wu said the process has started, adding that discussion between the DPRK and the US is also on the agenda.

But pushing forward the Six-Party Talks is the most fundamental and effective way to achieve goals such as maintaining stability on the peninsula and establishing long-standing peace in Northeast Asia, he said.

It is also the key for denuclearization of the peninsula and normalization of relations between the nations involved, Wu said.

The Six-Party Talks began in 2003 with China, the DPRK, the United States, the ROK, Russia and Japan. The talks are intended to get Pyongyang to end its nuclear program in return for massive aid.

Six rounds of talks had been held before December 2008, when the talks were stalled.

"I believe the Six-Party Talks will solve the concerns of all of the parties involved," Wu said. "But we do not want to see any party set preconditions for restarting the talks."

Before the Six-Party Talks can resume, Seoul wants Pyongyang to take responsibility for last November's deadly shelling of an ROK island and last May's sinking of its warship that killed 46 sailors.

It is also seeking to take Pyongyang's uranium enrichment program to the United Nations Security Council for possible further sanctions.

The US and Japan, on the other hand, say Pyongyang must first mend ties with Seoul before the talks can resume.

Wu did not disclose an agenda for the next round of the Six-Party Talks, but he said that the discussion on them is going on and Russia's vice-foreign minister will visit Beijing soon.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi just finished his visit to Seoul in late February, during which he talked with ROK President Lee Myung-bak about Pyongyang's nuclear program.

China Daily

(China Daily 03/05/2011 page7)