Saturday, January 24, 2009

DPRK Declares Willingness to Work For a Nuclear-Free Peninsula

North Korea on denuclearisation


North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il said yesterday his nation wants a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, declaring his willingness to work with China to push forward the six-party process, Chinese state media reported.

"The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is devoted to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, and hopes to live in peace with all other sides," Kim was quoted as saying by the Xinhua news agency.

"We don’t want to see tension emerge in the situation on the peninsula, and we are willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China and push forward the six-party process without interruption."

Kim made the remark while meeting in Pyongyang with Wang Jiarui, a senior official with China’s Communist Party, Xinhua said on its website.

It was Kim’s first known meeting with a senior foreign visitor since his reported stroke in August.

Observers noted the timing of Kim’s appearance, in the same week that US President Barack Obama was inaugurated in Washington, perhaps signalling North Korea’s hopes of a new chapter vis-a-vis the United States.

China hosts the six-nation talks on nuclear disarmament of North Korea.

The talks became bogged down in the final months of George W. Bush’s administration over ways to verify the North’s declared nuclear activities.

The six nations include the two Koreas, China, the United States, Japan and Russia.

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