Seoul, Beijing Express Similar Viewpoint on North Korea's Nuclear Program
MOSCOW, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - South Korea and China said they share "deep concern" regarding recent developments in North Korea's nuclear program and missile technology, and expressed their commitment to prevent Pyongyang from expanding its nuclear weapons capability, according to a statement made Friday by Seoul's chief nuclear envoy.
The chief nuclear envoys of South Korea and the People's Republic of China held negotiations today, concentrating mainly on the issue of a possible renewal of the six-party talks with North Korea, according to a Yonhap report.
'We exchange deep concern about North Korea's advances of nuclear and missile capabilities and, with a sense of urgency, agreed to continue to make close cooperation to curb such advances,' South Korea's Hwang Joon-kook said in Beijing where talks with his Chinese colleague, Wu Dawei, were held.
The two nations confirmed their shared commitment to continue joint efforts to push Pyongyang to resume the six-party nuclear talks, which were put on hold in 2008 by the North's initiative. It is necessary to restart a "meaningful dialogue" with Pyongyang, Hwang said.
The South Korean envoy arrived in Beijing after an unprecedented three-day visit to China's northeastern provinces, bordering North Korea, where several thousand North Korean fugitives are allegedly hiding before they can make their way to the South. Hwang visited Shenyang and several other Chinese towns on the North Korean border.
North Korea has conducted several nuclear tests and launched ballistic missiles since it exited the six-party nuclear talks. Seoul and Washington have urged Pyongyang to demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization in exchange for easing international pressure. However, North Korea is reluctant to give in. Pyongyang insists that nuclear talks may continue if the US "stop their aggressive hostile activities" against North Korea.
Seoul has taken up the initiative to improve relations with Beijing, as it is believed that China has certain political influence on Pyongyang and may therefore persuade the North to pursue less aggressive tactics and finally return to the multilateral talks.
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