China says no date fixed for NKorean nuclear talks
BEIJING (AFP) Nov 20, 2003
China denied Thursday that a date had been fixed for another round of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear ambitions, saying a date was still being negotiated.

"The date of the six-party talks has yet to be determined by the parties concerned," said spokesman Liu Jianchao.

His comments echoed those of US envoy James Kelly who cautioned on his arrival in Seoul from Beijing late Wednesday that there was no certainty the talks would take place before the end of the year.

South Korea's top presidential security aide has said more talks would probably take place from December 17 to 18.

Liu stressed the issues were complicated and called for mutual trust to bring an end to the 13-month standoff on North Korea's nuclear drive.

"The Chinese side thinks the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula is a complicated one and is not easy to solve," he said.

"We have always maintained that parties concerned should solve the problems through dialogue and the mechanism now is the six-party talks.

"We hope the parties concerned will enhance mutual trust and consensus and narrow differences so as to facilitate the launch of the second round of six-party talks."

Kelly's Asia tour, which concludes in South Korea after stops in China and Japan, is viewed as a possible prelude to renewed talks which broke up after an inconclusive first round in Beijing three months ago.