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UPDATED: 08:07, September 20, 2005
Wrap up: six-party talks conclude with common statement adopted
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The fourth round of six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue concluded in Beijing Monday afternoon with the adoption of a much-expected common statement.

In the current round of talks, which comprises two phases, all parties reached a six-point consensus on a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

At the closing ceremony held here Monday, chief negotiators from host China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan, on behalf of their respective governments, unanimously adopted a common statement.

After the conclusion of the talks, Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan met with chief envoys of the delegations.

The common statement says the six parties unanimously reaffirmed that the goal of the six-party talks is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.

The DPRK is committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, the statement says.

The DPRK also pledges to return, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency.

The United States affirms that it has no nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula and has no intention of attacking or invading the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons, says the statement.

The DPRK says it has the right to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Other parties have expressed their respect and agreed to discuss, at an appropriate time, the subject of the provision of lightwater reactor to the DPRK.

The DPRK and the United States pledge in the statement to respect each other's sovereignty, co-exist peacefully, and take steps to normalize their relations. The DPRK and Japan also pledge to take steps to normalize their relationship in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration.

The statement says the six parties will promote cooperation in energy, trade and investment. They also agree to take coordinated steps to implement the afore-mentioned consensus in a phased manner in the principle of "commitment for commitment, action for action."

The six parties agree to hold the fifth round of talks in Beijing in early November this year at a date to be determined through consultations, says the statement.

Wu Dawei, chairman of the fourth-round talks and Chinese chief negotiator, declared the adoption of the common statement at the closing meeting.

Wu said that with efforts made by all parties concerned, the fourth round of six-party talks was rounded off satisfactorily.

"We have reached consensus on the general goal of the fourth round of six-party talks and have agreed to announce a common statement, which is the most significant achievement for the past two years or more," he said.

The joint statement reflects the strong political will of the six governments involved to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, make the peninsula nuclear-free and safeguard its peace and stability, Wu said.

Wu, who is Chinese vice foreign minister, said the mechanism of six-party talks is a "practical and effective" means to the peaceful solution to the nuclear issue in the Korean Peninsula and accords with the fundamental interests of all parties.

China will, with joint efforts from all parties concerned, adhere to the orientation of peaceful solution through dialogue and to the goal of denuclearization in the peninsula. "We will safeguard the long-lasting peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia in order to promote common development," Wu said.

Local analysts regard the statement as a "milestone" document for establishing a basic framework and principle to resolve the Korean nuclear issue.

Piao Jianyi, a professor with the Asia-Pacific Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the the final coming out of the joint statement safeguards the peaceful mechanism concerning the Korean Nuclear issue and the recognition of DPRK's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy is the biggest compromise that the United States had made ever on the issue.

Christopher Hill, US top negotiator said in a press release from the US embassy after the talks were concluded that the joint statement sets out a visionary view of the end-point of the process of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"It is a very important first step to get the concerned parties to the critical and urgent next phase-implementation of DPRK commitments outlined above and the measures the United States and other parties would provide in return.

Source: Xinhua

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