Nations to meet on nuclear N Korea

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 September, 2011, 12:00am

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Officials and scholars from nations involved in the six-party talks on ending North Korea's nuclear programme will meet in Beijing next week to discuss ways to restart the dialogue.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu said a forum organised by the China Institute of International Studies would be held on Monday to mark the sixth anniversary of a joint declaration by the six nations calling for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

Those countries are the two Koreas, Japan, China, Russia and the US.

Wu Dawei, the special representative of the Chinese government on Korean Peninsula affairs, will attend the forum and is expected to hold talks with other officials in seeking progress.

'We hope to promote denuclearisation and peace in the Korean Peninsula,' Jiang said. Jiang's announcement coincided with a report saying that South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, Wi Sung-lac, would meet his Northern counterpart, Ri Yong-ho, in Beijing next week.

The report said the meeting of the envoys would be a 'follow-up' to talks in Indonesia in July, and serve as a chance for North Korea to 'reaffirm its determination' to dismantle its nuclear arms programme. Talks stalled two years ago.

North Korea conducted its second nuclear test a month after abandoning the six-party talks but efforts to restart the dialogue have gained momentum this summer.

Officials from North Korea have met their counterparts from the South and the United States. The North's leader, Kim Jong-il, also reportedly told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a visit to Russia last month that Pyongyang was ready to resume dialogue without preconditions.

But South Korea and the United States have dismissed Kim's proposal, saying Pyongyang should take steps towards nuclear dismantlement before dialogue can resume.