China urges early resumption of six-party talks

BEIJING, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) — China Thursday urged the early resumption of the six-party talks as Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. point man for the Korean nuclear issue, visited Beijing.

“The six-party talks have been stalled for two years. We hope the parties concerned make concerted efforts to resume the talks as soon as possible,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a news briefing.

The last round of the six-party talks took place in Beijing in December 2008.

Bosworth, U.S. special envoy for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) policy, flew to Beijing from Seoul on Wednesday as part of a three-nation tour that aims to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

He is scheduled to fly to Tokyo Thursday.

In Beijing, Bosworth met separately with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and Wu Dawei, special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs.

China and the United States “agreed to continue to work for peace and stability on the peninsula while advancing the six-party talks,” Hong said.

Dialogue is the only effective way of solving problems concerning the peninsula, Hong added.

“China supports and welcomes all sides actively engaging with each other and taking the situation in a favorable direction,” he added.

Bosworth’s tour comes after both the DPRK and the Republic of Korea (ROK) signaled that the resumption of the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue would be possible.

According to the DPRK’s official news agency, KCNA, the DPRK government, party and social institutions issued a joint statement on Wednesday proposing dialogue with ROK authorities on eliminating misunderstanding and distrust and achieving peace and prosperity.

Seoul is reportedly considering demanding its northern neighbor dismantle all its existing nuclear programs and allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to monitor its nuclear facilities.

It is also considering demanding the DPRK adhere to the joint statement issued in 2005 by the parties to the six-party talks on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, according to local news reports.

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