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China encourages N. Korea to choose own path (2)

(China Daily)

08:31, September 27, 2011

Zhang Liangui, a professor at the Research Institute for International Strategic Studies, which is affiliated to the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, noted that Choe has special responsibility for economic management.

The DPRK's economic ties with China have grown increasingly important as statistics from the Republic of Korea's (ROK) Unification Ministry showed that China now accounts for 57 percent of the DPRK's foreign trade.

Zhang said economic development is one of the most urgent tasks for the DPRK.

Wang Junsheng, a researcher with the Asia-Pacific studies office at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China is the main provider of DPRK's energy and food. However, Beijing has long been eager to help its neighbor through cooperation in technology and management rather than direct assistance, Wang said.

Choe is scheduled to visit several companies and factories in the commercial hub of Shanghai and the wealthy eastern province of Jiangsu.

China wants Pyongyang to understand and implement Chinese-style economic reforms, Wang said.

The two premiers also touched on efforts to revive the long-stalled Six-Party Talks, aimed at the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"China hopes that all sides remain in contact and in talks and improve relations so as to resume Six-Party Talks at an early date," Wen said.

Choe reiterated comments made by Pyongyang's top nuclear envoy who said in Beijing last week, during a meeting with Seoul's nuclear negotiator, that Pyongyang insists on restarting the talks with no preconditions.

ROK, US and Japanese officials, however, have said that before restarting the talks the DPRK must first adopt a number of measures, including ending its uranium enrichment program.

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