China, North Korea seek restart of nuclear talks

August 31st, 2010 - 4:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 31 (IANS) China and North Korea have said they both seek an early resumption of the six-party nuclear talks to ease tensions in the Korean peninsula.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Changchun in Jilin province during a five-day unofficial visit to China. Kim expressed hope that the six-party talks would be resumed soon.

The six-party talks involve North Korea, South Korea, China, US, Russia and Japan. The talks that began in 2003 after North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are aimed at ending the country’s nuclear programme through negotiation. In April 2009, North Korea quit the talks and announced it would reverse the ongoing disablement process and restart its Yongbyon nuclear facility.

During the meeting with Hu, Kim said North Korea remained committed to denuclearisation and the country “is not willing to see tensions on the peninsula”, China Daily reported.

Kim said he wished to maintain close coordination with China in pushing for an early resumption of the talks to ease the tension on the Korean Peninsula and to maintain peace and stability there.

Hu said China respects and supports such positive efforts made by North Korea. He called on all the parties concerned to make efforts to defuse the current tension and seek an early restart to the six-party talks.

The visit by Kim to China came as the situation intensified on the peninsula with South Korea and the US staging military exercises in surrounding waters.

The South Korea-US combine have accused North Korea of carrying out a submarine assault on a South Korean warship in March, which led to the death of 46 sailors. North Korea has proclaimed innocence and threatened to wage a nuclear war if it was punished for the incident.

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