October 18, 2010 11:29
North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator Kim Kye-gwan, recently promoted to first vice foreign minister, has said Pyongyang is ready to implement the Sept. 19, 2005 statement of principles adopted in the fourth round of six-party nuclear talks.
The statement stipulates that the North is "committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards."
In a press release on Friday about Kim's visit to Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said he met twice with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei and they agreed on "full implementation" of the 2005 statement.
It said the two agreed that the six-party talks are an effective way of achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, peace and stability there. "We agreed to try to seek progress in the six-party talks and hope that the other parties to the talks will make constructive efforts so that the talks can resume at an early date," it added.
Kim told reporters in Beijing, "We're ready to implement the Sept. 19, 2005 joint statement. We won't hurry but will make patient efforts considering that our counterparts are not ready yet."
China has already notified the other participating nations of the talks -- South Korea, the U.S., Japan and Russia -- of the discussions. But they apparently responded warily, saying North Korea first needs to take concrete steps to prove its sincerity.
Kim flew back to the North on Saturday afternoon, winding up his five-day visit to China.
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