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DPRK, U.S. meet on nuke, financial issues as six-party talks enter 2nd day
Latest Updated by 2006-12-20 09:19:32
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Related Special: Six-party talks

Chief nuclear negotiators from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States on Tuesday held their first one-on-one discussions at the six-party talks underway in Beijing.

"The chief DPRK negotiator Kim Kye-gwan and the chief U.S. negotiator Christoper Hill held their bilateral meeting Tuesday afternoon in Diaoyuatai State Guesthouse," the Chinese press center said, without releasing more details.

The meeting between Kim and Hill coincided with a separate meeting between the two countries' finance delegation in Beijing.

President of the DPRK's Foreign Trade Bank O Kwang Chol held three-hour talks with Daniel Glaser, U.S. Treasury Department's deputy assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes, at the U.S. Embassy Tuesday afternoon.

"The financial talks went on in a friendly manner, but did not produce new proposals," an official from the Republic of Korea (ROK) delegation to the nuke talks, said on condition of anonymity late Tuesday.

Hopeful about the financial talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Tuesday afternoon that "the U.S.-DPRK sanction issue would be properly resolved through the bilateral meeting, and positive achievements might come out."

Financial sanction imposed on the DPRK was one of key stumbling blocks that had stalled the six-party talks for the past thirteen months.

The fresh talks, which resumed on Monday after a 13-month suspension, entered the second day of negotiations on Tuesday, focusing on the implementation of the joint statement in September2005.

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

Formally known as the second phase of the fifth round since 2003, the talks involved China, the DPRK, the United States, the ROK, Japan and Russia.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo said on Tuesday evening that the negotiations are "deepening" despite twists and turns in the talks.

Dai underlined complexity of the nuclear issue, saying "it is natural that some fluctuations and difficulties come up" in the nuclear disarmament talks.

"It is a long day, we met with all other five parties," chief U.S. negotiator Hill told reporters Wednesday night at the hotel. "We worked well with China today... but we don't have breakthroughs to report."

Earlier Tuesday, six chief negotiators gathered for the second time and a string of one-on-one meeting was held in the afternoon.

China has held seven bilateral sessions with the five other parties in the multilateral talks since the talks resumed Monday and is acting as a mediator to help narrow those differences, spokesman Qin Gang said, confirming the talks will be "opened-end."

The spokesman urged delegates to the talks to show more patience, joking that "envoys should run a marathon to build their stamina."

"The time and effort we spend are not in vain, and the expectations of the international community have not been disappointed," the spokesman said.

Hailing the financial talks "an opportunity for us to have initial exchange of views," Glaser said late Tuesday that he and his DPRK counterpart will continue financial talks in the DPRK embassy Wednesday.

"Tomorrow will be a bilateral day," Hill said, adding "we really work on getting something down at the end of this week."

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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