S.Korean, US presidents exchange phone call on nuclear issue

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on Tuesday evening made a phone call to US President George W. Bush to thank Washington for showing flexibility in producing a joint statement at the just-concluded round of the six-party talks.

In the 20-minute telephone conversation, which started from 8: 40 p.m. (1100 GMT), Roh also delivered condolences for the deaths and damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf coast, according to a news release of the South Korean Presidential Office.

In response, Bush thanked Roh for South Korea's provision of aid for the hurricane victims and congratulated Roh on helping find a way to the solution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders also agreed on the need to maintain close cooperation in further negotiations ahead of implementing the joint statement, said the release.

On Monday, delegations from China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, Russia, South Korea and Japan to the fourth round of six-party talks adopted a joint statement on resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

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

The other five parties -- China, Japan, the ROK, Russia and the United States -- stated their willingness to provide energy assistance to the DPRK in the joint statement.

South Korea also reaffirmed its proposal of July 12, 2005 concerning the provision of 2 million kilowatts of electric power to the DPRK.

Source: Xinhua

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