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China Says Timing Of Next Round Of NKorea Talks Not Decided Yet

Recent AFP photo of South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-Young with Kwon Ho Ung, a North Korean senior Cabinet counselor.

Beijing (AFP) Oct 25, 2005
China said Tuesday the exact timing of the next round of six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program had still not been decided, but it should be in November.

"The schedule of the fifth round of six-party talks is under discussion," foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan told a regular briefing.

"In the statement issued at the last round, it was agreed to hold it in November. We hope this schedule will be realized and that the talks will achieve positive results," he said.

A South Korean official said earlier that the next round of talks -- involving the two Koreas, China, the United States, Japan and Russia -- would take place in the second week of November.

"The fifth round of six-party talks, which will be held in early November, probably in the second week, will focus on how to implement the joint statement," South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-Young said.

At the last round of talks in Beijing in September, North Korea agreed to a statement of principles under which it would give up its nuclear weapons in return for energy and security guarantees.

But soon after, Pyongyang said it would not dismantle its nuclear arsenal before the United States supplies it with a light-water atomic reactor to generate electricity.

Despite this, the Stalinist state said on Monday it would attend the fifth round of talks, and reiterated its commitment to ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Chinese President Hu Jintao leaves on Friday for his first visit to North Korea since assuming power in 2002. He is scheduled to meet the nation's reclusive leader Kim Jong-Il.

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U.S. Works With China On Nuke Security
Beijing (UPI) Oct 25, 2005
Linton Brooks, administrator of the Department of Energy's nuclear security watchdog told reporters Tuesday about a groundbreaking project in Sino-U.S. cooperation.

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