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Six-party talks on Korean nuclear issue to resume from Dec.18 2006-12-11 16:01:30

    BEIJING, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- The six-party talks on the Korean peninsular nuclear issue will be resumed in Beijing on Dec.18, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman announced on Monday.

    "As a result of the consultations of the parties concerned, the second phase of the fifth round of the six-party talks on the Korean peninsular nuclear issue will be resumed in Beijing on Dec.18," spokesman Qin Gang said.

    This will be the first talks since the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted an underground nuclear test on Oct. 9, triggering protests from the international community and complicating the Korean nuclear issue.

    "At this discussion, we expect that the parties will discuss ways to implement the September 2005 joint statement," the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Joanne Moore said.

    Monday's announcement came after a flurry of brisk diplomatic engagements among the parties concerned over the past months.

    At the end of October, chief negotiators of China, the DPRK and the United States held a closed-door meeting in Beijing and agreed to resume the talks a time convenient to the six parties.

    In late November, chief negotiators of the DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan came to Beijing, aiming at laying the groundwork for the resumption of the talks.

    Analysts are divided on the prospect of the upcoming talks.

    Some experts hailed the resumption an opportunity to break the current stalemate.

    "I find it hard for the forthcoming six-party talks to produce substantive progress," said Yang Bojiang, a researcher with China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.

    Yang said the difficulty lies in the deep-rooted mistrust between the DPRK and the United States.

    Launched in 2003, the six-party talks, involving China, the DPRK, the United States, the ROK, Russia and Japan, are aimed at finding a solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

    However, the talks have been stalled since last November as the DPRK refused to return to the talks because of U.S. sanctions against it.

    Over the past 13 months, the parties concerned have made continuous efforts to restart the talks.

Seoul expects substantial progress in upcoming six-party talks 

    SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- South Korea was expecting substantial progress in the upcoming six-party talks, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
Japan welcomes resumption of six-party talks

    TOKYO, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday welcomed the resumption of the six-party talks on the Korean peninsular nuclear issue on Dec. 18, Kyodo News reported.

Editor: Yangtze Yan
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