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Russia to be active in next round of six-party talks
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21:53, July 12, 2007

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Russia will do its utmost for the next round of six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue to be effective, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

"High on the agenda will be issues pertaining to the implementation of measures within the framework of the first stage of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula to meet the February multinational pact," the statement said.

"Analyzing prospects for next stage activities is also planned, " it said.

The chief delegates to the Six Party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue are to meet in Beijing on July 18 and 19, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced on Thursday.

The two-day meeting will be the first for the chief negotiators of China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, and Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan since the last round of talks went into recess in late March.

At the Six Party talks in February, Pyongyang pledged to shut down the Yongbyon reactor within 60 days in exchange for 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil or equivalent aid.

However, the denuclearization process was held up when the DPRK insisted that 25 million U.S. dollars in funds frozen by the United States at the Banco Delta Asia in Macao first be returned.

After a long round of shuttle diplomacy, the funds were unfrozen and transferred to a Russian bank where the DPRK has accounts on June 25.

A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was then invited to visit Pyongyang and reached a consensus with the DPRK on the verification procedure of the reactor shutdown.

The June visit was the U.N. watchdog's first to the DPRK since late 2002, when the country expelled IAEA nuclear inspectors and later withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

IAEA inspectors are due to arrive in the DPRK on Saturday to verify the shutdown and sealing of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities.

The DPRK on July 6 said it would suspend the operation of its nuclear facilities on receipt of the promised aid, in its first announcement on when it will shut down the Yongbyon facilities.

The ROK dispatched the first shipment of 6,200 tons of heavy fuel oil to DPRK on Thursday in accordance with the February agreement.

"The current momentum of the nuclear talks is turning positive and this should be welcomed and carried forward by all parties," Qin said, adding each party should honor its promises to push forward the process.

Source: Xinhua

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