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UPDATED: 16:39, September 19, 2005
S.Korea welcomes joint statement adopted by six-party talks
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South Korean government welcomed a joint statement that adopted earlier Monday at the end of the fourth round of six-party talks aimed to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun welcomed the joint statement as "epoch-making" one which make "principles" for the ending of the nuclear issue.

Roh also expressed appreciation especially for the efforts of host China that helped bring the breakthrough in the long-time efforts to resolve the nuclear issue, according to a news release issued by the South Korean Presidential Office Monday afternoon.

"The adoption of the joint statement in the fourth round of the six-party talks heralded a crucial chance to resolve the North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea)'s nuclear issue, " the release quoted Roh as saying.

The release also expressed the will that the joint statement can provide momentum in stabilizing the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier Monday, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United States, Russia, South Korea and Japan adopted the joint statement in Beijing, in which the DPRK promised to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.

The statement says the DPRK is "committed to" abandoning "all nuclear weapons" and "existing nuclear programs" and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

China, Japan, the ROK, Russia and the United States stated their willingness to provide energy assistance to the DPRK. South Korea reaffirmed its proposal of July 12, 2005 concerning the provision of two million kilowatts of electric power to the DPRK.

The statement says the six parties agreed to take coordinated steps to implement their consensus in a phased manner in line with the principle of "commitment for action."

Meanwhile, South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young also praised the agreement as "the accomplishment of South Korean diplomacy."

Chung, who also doubles the head of the South Korean National Security Council, said his government's electricity offer played a key role in reaching the agreement in the six-party talks.

South Korea in July proposed to provide two million kilowatts of electricity to the DPRK independently, beginning in 2008, in exchange for Pyongyang's abandonment of its nuclear program.

The fourth round of the six-party talks was held in Beijing in two phases, from July 26 to August 7 and from September 13 to 19 respectively.

Source: Xinhua

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