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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China, Russia favor early second round of DPRK talks

PLA Daily 2004-01-06

MOSCOW, Jan. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Both China and Russia favor a soonest possible holding of the second round of six-party talks on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s nuclear program, the Chinese embassy here said Monday.

Chinese Ambassador Ning Fukui, who is in charge of the DPRK issue, and Russian Foreign Ministry First Asian Department director Yevgeny Afanasyev met here Monday to discuss the preparation work for the second round of the multilateral talks.

Both officials noted that Beijing and Moscow share very close positions on Pyongyang's nuclear issue and are willing to get prepared for the significant second round of negotiations. The two sides expressed their hope to jointly push forward the multilateral negotiation process so that the second round would beheld early this year.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, who has hosted the two officials, said earlier Monday that the final date for the second round talks has not been set yet because "mistrust and excessive demands on each other" by Washington and Pyongyang hindered participants from coordinating the final document.

The deputy minister did not rule out that the expected second round would be held in January, but the chance is slim.

The first round of negotiations on the DPRK's nuclear issue was held in Beijing last August with the participation of representatives from the DPRK, South Korea, Russia, China, the United States and Japan. Diplomatic efforts are underway to decide the date for the next round of such talks.

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