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Six-party talks expected to resume early next year: Yonhap

 

SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- The stalled six-party talks over the denuclearization of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is expected to resume early next year, local media Yonhap News Agency said on Tuesday, citing unnamed government sources.

"The six-party talks must resume before next February in order to keep the on-going momentum," an unnamed South Korean government source told Yonhap, adding that the related countries are making joint efforts on it.

"Our (the South Korean government) commitment is to resume the negotiations as soon as possible," another source was quoted as saying.

According to the country's diplomat sources, if talks do resume, it will likely take place late-January or early-February.

The sources also mentioned the possibility of one more meeting between the United States and the DPRK before proceeding to the six-party talks because the fundamental difference between the two countries is too substantial at this point, Yonhap said.

Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special nuclear envoy, told a press conference shortly after his trip to the DPRK earlier this month that the United States and the DPRK have reached a common understanding on the need for resuming the talks and implementing the Joint Statement of September 2005.

During his stay in Pyongyang, Bosworth reportedly expressed his country's hope for restarting the six-party talks in the first two months of next year, while the DPRK side hoped that Washington would provide "necessary cause and condition" for its return to the forum, Yonhap said.

Launched in 2003, the six-party nuclear disarmament talks on the Korean Peninsula involve China, the DPRK, the United States, South Korea, Russia, and Japan.

The DPRK boycotted the forum in April in protest against the U.N. condemnation of its missile tests, but showed signals of possibly rejoining the talks after meeting with Bosworth earlier this month.

 

 


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