The upcoming round of the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue will lay the groundwork for carrying out the first joint statement among the parties, chief negotiator of the Republic of Korea (ROK) said in Beijing Monday afternoon.
ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Song Min-soon made the statement upon his arrival at the Beijing International Airport.
"There will be intensive consultations in this round of the six-party talks," Song told Xinhua. He and his delegates were the first to arrive in Beijing for the talks, scheduled for Nov. 9.
Delegations from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, Russia and Japan, will arrive in Beijing Tuesday.
Aiming at resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, China hosted four rounds of six-party talks with the latest one adopting the first joint statement in September.
The DPRK pledged in the statement to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and return, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The United States affirmed 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 fifth round of the six-party talks is expected to discuss how to follow through on the statement.
"The previous talks helped all parties accomplish a 'word-to-word' goal, and the new round will enter the stage of 'action-to-action', and there will be more substantial discussions," said Shen Jiru, researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The upcoming talks will be held in phases. The first phase, will run from Nov. 9 to 11, sources with the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Monday. "But the actual timetable will be subject to a discussion by all parties."
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan said earlier that "holding the talks by phases in the new round could have a better result," as the chief negotiators of some parties might also attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit slated for mid-November in Pusan, ROK.
"If all parties could take a commitment to commitment and action to action based on the joint statement reached during the fourth round of the talks, and earnestly push forward the discussion and agree to take further steps, there would be a positive result," Kong said.