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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

North Korea repeats calls for denuclearization

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, February 9 (RIA Novosti) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has reiterated that his country is willing to continue efforts toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the Xinhua news agency said Tuesday.

Xinhua cited Kim as saying at a meeting with Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, that "the sincerity of relevant parties to resume the six-party talks is very important."

North Korea is willing "to make efforts with China to further strengthen the communication and coordination [on the denuclearization issue]," Kim said.

China is one of the countries - along with Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States - trying to persuade Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program through six-party talks.

A Chinese delegation led by Wang Jiarui arrived in North Korea on Saturday for a goodwill visit.

According to Xinhua, Wang Jiarui handed the North Korean leader a letter from Chinese President Hu Jintao, which said "China highly treasures its relations with the North and is ready to deepen traditional friendship, enhance cooperation, and make joint efforts with the DPKR to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula."

The six-party talks came to a halt in April when North Korea walked out of negotiations in protest against the United Nations' condemnation of its missile tests.

The country is banned from conducting nuclear or ballistic tests under UN Resolution 1718, adopted after North Korea's first nuclear test on October 9, 2006.

However, Pyongyang carried out a second nuclear test on May 25 last year, followed by a series of short-range missile launches, and has threatened to build up its nuclear arsenal to counter what it calls hostile U.S. policies.

The move led to the UN imposing new sanctions on North Korea banning the import and export of nuclear material and all weapons except small arms.

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