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China seeks to resume talks on Korean peninsula’s nuclear-free status

December 18, 2013, 22:45 UTC+3 BEIJING
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BEIJING, December 18, 22:24 /ITAR-TASS/. The Chinese Foreign Ministry a reiterated its position on the non-nuclear status of the Korean Peninsula and called for solving this issue through six-party talks.

The ministry’s statement followed Tuesday’s article in the North Korean official newspaper Rodong Sinmum, which praised DPRK leader Kim Jong-un’s determination to make the country “a full-fledged nuclear power.”

“China’s position on the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula is absolutely transparent; denucliarising the region, maintaining peace and stability there and resolving disagreements through negotiations are its key components,” a Foreign Ministry official said.

China is exerting maximum efforts and working with all the other participants in the dialogue to resume the six-party talks, and China is playing a positive role in this process, the spokesperson said.

The Chinese government’s special envoy for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei visited Pyongyang in November to discuss the possibility of resuming the six-party talks on regional denucliarisation.

Wu had previously visited Pyongyang in August for talks with DPRK First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Gye-gwan.

In October, Wu visited Washington to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel and U.S. special representative for policy on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Glyn Davies.

Last decade, North Korea’s nuclear programme was discussed in six-party talks with the participation of the two Koreas, China, Russia, the U.S., and Japan, which agreed concrete ways to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear facilities and practical steps were taken to this end. However negotiations have been suspended since the end of 2008 because of contradictions between the DPRK and the U.S. Moreover, Pyongyang declared them terminated. Since then the DPRK has conducted a series of nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.

The U.N. Security Council responded by imposing sanctions upon North Korea. It condemned Pyongyang’s actions and demanded that it stop developing weapons of mass destruction.

The Security Council authorised additional restrictive measures with regard to the DPRK, which the Russian Foreign Ministry said were “targeted in nature” and were “tightly linked to the need to stop North Korean programmes to create nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that do not address vital needs of the population for humanitarian aid and economic assistance.”

The resolution reaffirmed the Security Council’s commitment to a political and diplomatic solution to the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula and resumption of six-party talks.

At the talks with DPRK First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Gye-gwan in July 2013, Moscow urged Pyongyang to step up its efforts towards resuming six-party talks.

The Russian diplomats stressed the need for joint efforts to ease tensions and create conditions for the speediest resumption of six-party talks on the principles set out in the joint statement of September 19, 2005.

Moscow urged Pyongyang to give up nuclear weapons and all military missile programmes.

“We urge our partners in the DPRK to receive properly the will of the international community expressed in the resolution, give up nuclear weapons and all military missile programmes, return to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and IAEA safeguards regime, and join the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,” the ministry said. “We also hope that all sides concerned will refrain from actions that may aggravate the situation.”

Russia reiterated its readiness to work together with its partners in the six-party format to devise a mechanism of peace and security in Northeast Asia as one of the main channels for creating conditions for resuming negotiations, the Foreign Ministry said.

Kim reiterated Pyongyang’s commitment to settling the nuclear issue through dialogue.

“Denucliarisation of the Korean Peninsula is the last wish of the founder of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Il-sung, and his follower Kim Jong-il. The DPRK aspires to conduct the dialogue and meet with representatives of all sides concerned, including a six-party dialogue with them, in hope to settle the nuclear issue peacefully,” the diplomat said.

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