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UPDATED: 08:08, November 09, 2005
Six parties gather in Beijing for nuclear talks
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With the arrival of the US delegation in Beijing, all negotiators to the fifth round of six-party talks converged here Tuesday for a peaceful solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

The delegation of the Republic of Korea (ROK) arrived here Monday, and other delegations, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Russia, Japan and the United States arrived here successively on Tuesday.

US chief negotiator Christopher Hill told reporters upon his arrival in Beijing that the first step in the way ahead is to look at the issue of the denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula and begin to see how the agreements and the principles can be put into practices.

ROK chief negotiator Song Min-soon said in Beijing Monday afternoon that the upcoming fifth round of the six-party talks will lay the groundwork for carrying out the first joint statement reached during the fourth round of the talks.

"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.

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 this year.

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, in exchange for energy aid and security guarantees.

The fifth round of the six-party talks is expected to discuss how to follow through on the statement.

Kim Gye-gwan, head of the DPRK delegation to the six-party talks, said at Pyongyang's Sun-an Airport before departure to Beijing earlier Tuesday morning that his country is willing to make sincere efforts to fulfil the joint statement at the upcoming fifth-round talks.

"The DPRK cherishes the joint statement formed in the previous round. We are willing to make sincere efforts at this round of the talks to fulfil the spirit of the joint statement," he said.

The DPRK delegation head said the talks have already had a clear direction, which guides the six parties all the way forward like a lighthouse.

"But the lighthouse is too far away from the DPRK and becomes less visible sometimes as the sea is always full of fogs," Kim said.

However, he said, all the parties involved could pool their wisdom and work together for further progress.

Russia's chief negotiator Alexander Alexeyev said Tuesday upon arrival in Beijing that Russia will cooperate with the DPRK in a bid to make substantial result in the new round of the six-party talks.

Sasae Kenichiro, head of the Japanese delegation, said here Tuesday that Japan is particularly interested in the implementation of the agreement already reached by all sides, especially the process of denuclearization.

Japan will also express its views on future actions in the talks, he noted.

The fifth round of six-party talks will open on Nov. 9 and is expected to last for three days as the first phase. 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.

Source: Xinhua

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