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The Six-Party Talks Is Scheduled to Resume After Three-Week Recess

2005/08/07

The fourth round of six party talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula was declared a recess after 13 days of discussions and scheduled to resume in the week that begins on Aug. 29.

The first phase of the fourth round of six-party talks was held in Beijing from July 26 to August 7, 2005. The specific date for the next phase of the talks is yet to be decided.

On the morning of August 7, the delegations held a chief delegates' meeting for about two and a half hours in Fangfeiyuan, Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Following the meeting, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, who is also the head of the Chinese delegation and the Chairman of this round of talks, met with Chinese and foreign journalists on the lawn outside Fangfeiyuan and read out the Chairman's Statement, which was agreed by the heads of delegations of the six parties.

The six parities reaffirmed in the Chairman's Statement that the goal of the six-party talks is to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner and they agreed to issue a joint document. They had in-depth and helpful discussions on the text of the joint document and reached many consensuses. They also decided to take a recess so that the delegations could go back to report to their governments the progress of the talks, and study their positions in a bid to resolve the remaining differences.

While answering the questions put forward by journalists, Wu pointed out that the fourth round of six-party talks is aimed at working out a roadmap for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Over the past 13 days, all the parties have made active efforts to this end. "If we are climbing a mountain, we've already seen the peak of it." We've already won a battle in the long and arduous journey."

Wu said that many consensuses have been reached during the talks up to now and these consensuses are based upon the previous 3 rounds of talks, yet unparalleled by the previous rounds of talks.

Wu pointed out that there is no doubt that the six parties still hold differences on some major issues, but they agreed to resume the talks, which indicates that they are not afraid of these differences. "We believe that we are able to resolve them."

Wu stressed that whether the six parties could sign a joint document is not a symbol for the success or failure of this round of six-party talks. He said that the discussions over the joint document have enhanced understanding and expanded consensuses among the six parties.

Wu also added that the basic principle for the six-party talks is to reach consensus through consultations and all the issues must be agreed by consensus. Any party has the veto power, which has brought some difficulties to the smooth proceeding of the talks. But Wu pointed out that the six parties have to overcome these difficulties. The concern of any party should be the common concern of all the parties. Consensus can be reached only when the concern of every party is taken care of.

"We decide to take a recess so that we can reach the peak more smoothly. This is an important and positive outcome of the first phase of this round of talks," added Wu.

Wu stated that he could neither say for sure when the six parties would reach the agreement nor ensure the six parties would reach the agreement after the fourth round of talks resumes. "But I believe that one day we will reach the agreement."

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