Source Pravda.Ru

Third round of talks on North Korean nuclear problem in Beijing

The third round of the six-sided talks on the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula is opening in Beijing on Wednesday. The delegations of China, the DPRK, the USA, Russia, the Republic of Korea and Japan are taking part in the talks.

As it became known from diplomatic sources, on Wednesday morning before the beginning of the third round the South-Korean delegation will hold talks with the DPRK delegation.

Besides that, meetings of the North-Korean and US representatives are planned. In the first part of Wednesday the delegation of Russia, led by Ambassador at Large Alexander Alexeyev, will discuss the questions of settling the crisis with the representatives of the USA, South Korea and Japan.

As Alexander Alexeyev stated on the day before, Russia considers the DPRK's position at the six-sided talks to be logical. Following the bilateral meeting with head of the DPRK delegation, the Russian Ambassador said that North Korea had confirmed its firm intention to work for resolution of the nuclear problem, adhering to the previous stand on freezing the nuclear developments in exchange for a compensation (for the energy losses).

"The logic of this position is clear to us, and we, together with our counterparts from the USA, Japan, South Korea and China, will seek variants to combine different positions," the head of the Russian delegation went on to say.

The head of the US delegation - US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly noted that he did not see any special reasons for displaying optimism but was ready for serious debates. The North-Korean sources stated that they hoped for easing of the US stance.

The current nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula emerged in autumn 2002 when the DPRK resumed its nuclear programme after the miss of the deadline set for building, under the US aegis, a new nuclear power plant for it in Kymho town. The beginning of the war in Iraq caused fears in the DPRK which the US administration included in the "axis of evil" along with the Saddam Hussein regime in Baghdad.

The USA is now demanding that the DPRK fully renounce any nuclear programmes, including those in the peaceful sphere, whereas Pyongyang is ready to slow down only nuclear research in the military sphere in exchange for guarantees of security.

The previous two rounds of the regional talks at the level of deputy heads of the six countries' foreign policy departments were held in August 2003 and in February 2004. But they did not set afoot the resolution of the problems around the DPRK's nuclear developments. The sides had to set up a working group to smooth the "acute angles", first of all in the positions of North Korea and the USA.

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