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Six Parties Issue Chairman's Statement on Nuclear Issue

2006-12-22

    BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- The six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue recessed on Friday afternoon after issuing a chairman's statement.

    The recess came after five days of negotiations in Beijing by six delegations, namely, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Russia.

    The chairman's statement said the six parties agreed to implement the joint statement of Sept. 19, 2005 as soon as possible "in a phased manner."

    Under the joint statement, the DPRK agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for economic aid and security guarantees.

    The chairman's statement was announced by China's top negotiator Wu Dawei, with five other top envoys standing beside him.

    The parties reviewed changes and developments in the situation of the six-party talks and reaffirmed their common goal and will to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue, the chairman's statement said.

    "The six parties agreed to recess to report to capitals and to reconvene at the earliest opportunity," it said.

    Calling the discussions over the past five days "useful," the chairman's statement said the parties put forward some "initial ideas."

    The parties, through intensive bilateral consultations, had candid and in-depth exchange of views to address their concerns, it said.

    In the talks, the DPRK and the United States remained greatly divided, particularly on the financial sanction issue, said Sergei Razov, head of the Russian delegation. "Their difference is the major obstacle to implementing the joint statement of September."

    Formally known as the second phase of the fifth round since 2003, the talks resumed Monday after a 13-month suspension.

    Later Friday, Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan met with six chief negotiators at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

    "This phase of talks are rather difficult," Tang told chief negotiators.

    "But proposals of the parties become clearer and their stances closer through the talks," Tang said.

    Top U.S. envoy Christopher Hill said on Friday evening that he was "disappointed not reaching any agreement this round."

    "Although the talks failed to score tangible achievement, all parties put forward their proposals. That's the progress," chief Japanese envoy Kenichiro Sasae said Friday evening.

    "We still believe the six-party process is the best way to solve it (the denuclearization)," Hill said.

    Some Chinese analysts also hailed the talks helpful.

    "The talks offered an opportunity for all parties to communicate and laid a solid foundation for the future negotiations," said Liu Jiangyong, a professor with the prestigious Tsinghua University.

    The talks are expected to resume no earlier than next month although Hill said there are some "encouraging signs" that they declared a recess rather than announce the round is over.

    "We can't go another 13 months...we will get back very soon," Hill said.

Full text of Chairman's Statement of six-party talks

    BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- A Chairman's Statement was issued here Friday after the second session of the fifth round of the six-party talks was in recess. The full text is as follows:

    The Second Session of the Fifth Round of the Six-Party Talks was held in Beijing from December 18 to 22, 2006.

    The Parties reviewed changes and developments in the situation of the Six-Party Talks and reaffirmed their common goal and will to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue. They reiterated that they would earnestly carry out their commitments in the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005,and agreed to take coordinated steps to implement the Joint Statement as soon as possible in a phased manner in line with the principle of "action for action".

    The Parties held useful discussions on measures to implement the Joint Statement and on actions to be taken by the Parties in the starting phase and put forward some initial ideas. The Parties, through intensive bilateral consultations, had candid and in-depth exchange of views to address their concerns.

    The Parties agreed to recess to report to capitals and to reconvene at the earliest opportunity.

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