Xi stresses China role in six-party talks

June 19, 2008 at 1:37 AM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, June 19 (UPI) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, stressed China's commitment to the talks on the North's denuclearization.

Xi, likely to become China's next president, told the North Korean leader progress has been made to get the stalled six-party talks restarted, noting China has always supported North Korea improving relations with the United States and Japan through dialogue, Xinhua reported. Other members in the six-party effort are Russia and South Korea.

Xi said he hoped the six countries will work together for the full and balanced implementation of the second phase of the denuclearization process.

Efforts are under way in other capitals to restart the talks, which stalled after North Korea failed to meet a Dec. 31 deadline to declare all of its nuclear programs acceptable to all parties in exchange for substantial aid from the other parties.

Separately, the six-party negotiators from the United States, Japan and South Korea planned to meet Thursday in Tokyo on resuming the talks, Yonhap reported.

South Korean envoy Kim Sook said North Korea's declaration was expected this month, the report said.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also was quoted as saying North's nuclear declaration was imminent.

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