BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The six parties to the
Korean Peninsula nuclear issue talks began a new round of talks in Beijing on
Monday with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United
States resolving the issue of 25 million U.S. dollars frozen in a bank in Macau.
"We are still faced with a lot of difficulties and
obstacles on the road ahead," top Chinese negotiator Wu Dawei said in his
opening address before the closed-door talks in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
Negotiators from the Democratic People's Republic
of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea, Japan, Russia, China and the
United States start the sixth round of six-party talks in Beijing, capital
of China on March 19, 2007. The six-party talks working group on the
de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula began its sixth round in Beijing
on Monday.(Xinhua Photo) Photo Gallery
the chair of the six-party talks, Wu said the session would review the progress
of five related work group meetings and discuss the specific steps for the DPRK
to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor.
Wu called on all parties to take part in the talks
with "a flexible, pragmatic and constructive approach and make positive
"The current session will run about three days," Wu
Earlier on Monday, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Treasury
Secretary Daniel Glaser said the United States and DPRK had reached an
understanding on the issue of frozen funds.
"The DPRK has proposed the transfer of the 25 million
U.S. dollars frozen in the Banco Delta Asia (BDA) into an account held by DPRK's
Foreign Trade Bank at the Bank of China in Beijing," Glaser said.
"We believe this resolves the issue of the
DPRK-related frozen funds," he concluded.
In September 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department,
suspecting the BDA of helping the DPRK launder money, ordered American financial
institutions to suspend business ties with the Macao-based bank, which
subsequently froze the U.S. dollar accounts held by the DPRK.
Rejecting the charge, the DPRK demanded the U.S. lift
the financial sanctions before it could return to the six-party talks, which
remained stalled for 13 months since the end of 2005.
As part of the nuclear deal reached during the last
round of talks in Beijing on Feb. 13, the United States agreed to settle the
financial dispute with the DPRK within 30 days.
"The DPRK will shut down its nuclear facilities in
Yongbyon if its funds are fully released," the top DPRK envoy Kim Kye-Gwan told
the chief envoys' meeting on Monday morning.
"With the BDA issue resolved, there should be no
major obstacles to implementing the measures to shut down the DPRK's nuclear
facilities within the 60-day deadline," said the ROK envoy Chun Yung-woo.
"I think tomorrow the focus will turn to the
completion of the tasks within the 60 days," chief U.S. envoy Christopher Hill
said at his hotel on Monday evening.
Hill also said that the DPRK needed to do more to
address its relationship with Japan.
A Japan-DPRK meeting took place in Hanoi early March
without achieving any breakthrough in resolving outstanding issues preventing
the two countries from normalizing relations.
Japan's envoy Kenichiro Sasae said in the chief
envoys' meeting that Japan would try to implement the initial steps quickly,
adding that parties should start thinking about measures in the second