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S.Korea, China coordinate positions on N.Korea

S. Korean and Chinese officials met to co-ordinate their positions ahead of the six-way talks aimed at breaking a nearly 18-month impasse over North Korea's nuclear programme, said Seoul's foreign ministry.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2004 15:30 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

South Korean and Chinese officials metto co-ordinate their positions ahead of the six-way talks aimed at breaking a nearly 18-month impasse over North Korea's nuclear programme, said Seoul's foreign ministry.

China, the largest provider of food and oil to North Korea, is hosting a second round of six-way talks in Beijing beginning on February 25 that also includes the two Koreas, Japan, Russia and the United States.

"Both sides exchanged opinions in depth on all possible issues that can be raised at the next talks and shared the same view on many issues," Cho Taeyong, director general of a task force on the North Korean nuclear issue, told reporters.

"The two sides also agreed to make efforts to make the next talks successful...and to closely cooperate and exchange views until the actual meeting was held," said Cho.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Beijing's point man on North Korean affairs, will meet South Korean officials again on Sunday for further discussions.

A first round of talks in Beijing last August ended with little progress.

North Korea wants the United States to provide free oil shipments, end economic sanctions, provide security guarantees and remove Pyongyang from the U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism.

The United States wants North Korea first to commit to dismantling its nuclear programmes and has offered to show how it would guarantee not to attack the state President George W. Bush called part of an "axis of evil" with Iran and pre-war Iraq.

The North Korean nuclear crisis began in October 2002 when the United States said Pyongyang had admitted to pursuing a covert nuclear weapons programme.

First Published: Feb 17, 2004 00:00 IST