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Six-party nuclear talks score "new consensus", to continue till Friday
Latest Updated by 2006-12-21 09:00:22
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The ongoing six-party talks on the Korean Peninsular nuke issue will be extended to Friday despite "new consensus" achieved through intensive negotiations.

"Six chief negotiators agreed to continue the talks on Thursday and Friday," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told reporters on Wednesday evening.

"We feel it is worth continuing this discussions," Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Christopher Hill told reporters at the hotel late Wednesday.

Formally known as the second phase of the fifth round since 2003, the talks resumed on Monday after a 13-month suspension and involved China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea(DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Russia. 
"New consensus has been reached in the resumed talks thanks to all parties' arduous efforts," Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said in a meeting with six chief negotiators Wednesday afternoon.

The fresh consensus, as Li said, included that all parties reiterated the implementation of the September joint statement, peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and the adherence to the common target of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

The ongoing talks focused on the implementation of the joint statement in September 2005.

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

On Wednesday, several one-on-one meetings were held, including the "lengthy meeting" between Hill and his DPRK counterpart Kim Kye-gwan.

On the sidelines of the six-party talks, U.S. treasury officials and their DPRK counterparts held their second day of negotiations on financial discussions, which people hoped would produce progress.

"I thought the meeting was business-like and useful," Daniel Glaser, U.S. Treasury Department's deputy assistant secretary, told reporters Wednesday night at the hotel.

Glaser, who is leading the U.S.delegation, held five-hour talks with President of the DPRK's Foreign Trade Bank O Kwang Chol in the DPRK embassy Wednesday.

Glaser didn't release the details of the talks, but stressed the DPRK should "underline the concerns of the international financial society."

"We also discussed the possibility of meeting next month, perhaps in New York," he said, confirming his delegation will go back home tomorrow.

Financial sanction imposed on the DPRK was one of the key stumbling blocks that had stalled the six-party talks for the past13 months.

The two-day negotiations between the DRPK and the United States are a "positive sign" of improvement in bilateral relations, spokesperson Jiang Yu said.

It is widely guessed that the United States will Analysts are cautious about the prospect of the ongoing talks.

"It is not quite possible for this-phase talks to achieve significant breakthrough, but minor achievements may be likely," said Jin Linbo, a researcher with China Institute of International Studies.

"Certainly we are talking about much more than just agreeing on things on paper," Hill said. "We were discussing actual development on the ground."

"Whether we are successful at the end of the week. time will tell," the U.S. chief negotiator said.

On Thursday, Hill will meet again with his DPRK counterpart.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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