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UPDATED: 09:20, February 07, 2007
Japan, U.S. agree to cooperate in upcoming six-party talks
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Top nuclear negotiators from Japan and the United States agreed here on Tuesday that the two countries will cooperate during the upcoming six-party talks to be held in Beijing for concrete achievements on resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill and Director General of Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Kenichiro Sasae reached a consensus in their meeting that it is important to urge the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to take substantial actions to abandon its nuclear program.

The two sides also pledged to closely cooperate on all issues including the DPRK's abduction of Japanese nationals.

"It's important to have progress in this issue to move the entire six-party process forward and the United States fully understands this," Kyodo News quoted Sasae as telling reporters.

The Japanese government has made its stance clear that it would not offer economic and energy benefits to the DPRK unless progress is made on the abduction issue.

Japanese media said that in the upcoming round of the six-party talks, Japan and the United States will push the DPRK to take "initial steps" to abandon its nuclear program, including halting a reactor in the Yongbyon nuclear complex and accepting safeguard inspections.

At a press conference held on Monday, Hill called on the DPRK not only to guarantee to take the "initial steps," but also to show concrete implementation.

He described the DPRK's willingness to come back to the six-party talks as a good signal.

Source: Xinhua

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