Establishing working groups "conducive" to nuclear talks, says researchers

Researchers here believe that the establishment of working groups will help the six-party talks be "more pragmatic" and promote the implementation of the joint statement.

The fifth round of the six-party talks, involving China, the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan, began on Wednesday. Spokesman of the Chinese delegation Qin Gang said Wednesday at a press briefing that it might be an "appropriate choice" to set up working groups or expert teams so as to implement the joint statement.

Ruan Zongze, deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies, said the working groups to be established will work based on the joint statement and outline detailed plans of the contents. It will be more easier to reach consensus within working groups than in the plenary session because working groups tend to be more efficient.

Liu Jiangyong, a professor of international relations with Qinghua University, said though the joint statement has mapped out a basic framework covering the concerns of all relevant parties, all sides have to carry out in-depth and careful discussions on implementation. One or two rounds of talks can't resolve all the issues.

After establishing working groups, experts, under the leadership of diplomats, can conduct continuous, frequent and pragmatic research and consultations on all the issues, which will help maintain the process of the talks even during recess, Liu said, adding this is a positive and constructive proposal.

Chinese analysts said as the nuclear talks enter a substantial phase of "action to action", finding solutions to detailed problems requires the participation of professionals specialized in different fields.

As for the organizational structure of the working groups, Ruan suggests the establishment of an umbrella of specialist groups that focus on different specific issues. The groups will conduct their respective work within the framework of the six-party talks.

They are separate in operation but interdependent in organizational relations. The agreements reached by the working groups will be implemented under the six-party talks framework, Ruan said.

Head of the Japanese delegation Kenichiro Sasae on Wednesday proposed to set up two working groups specialized respectively in DPRK nuclear dismantlement and inspection, and economic and energy aid to the DPRK, according to a press release from Japanese embassy in China.

However, researchers are "cautiously optimistic" on whether the six parties will reach consensus on the establishment of working groups in the fifth-round talks.

Liu said though all sides agreed on the proposal, they have to yet take some time to discuss and decide on such details as the composition and working pattern of the groups. It would be an achievement of the fifth-round talks if they reached consensus on setting up the working groups, he said.

Liu added that the establishment of working groups will be just a measure taken to reach final solution of the nuclear issue. He said the Chinese side will collect and summarize opinions from other parties so as to work out an acceptable plan for all.

Source: Xinhua

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