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(LEAD) S. Korea urges N. Korea to show 'sincerity' for six-party talks: FM

All Headlines 15:31 May 27, 2013

(ATTN: ADDS foreign minister's fresh quotes, details in paras 5-9)

SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se on Monday called for North Korea to demonstrate its "sincerity" through action, in response to an apparent offer by North Korea saying it was open to dialogue over its nuclear weapons program.

Yun made the remarks days after the North Korean leader's special envoy, Choe Ryong-hae, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday. During the meeting, Xi urged the North to return to the long-stalled six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear standoff.

"Our stance is that there should not be talks for the sake of talks and North Korea must show its sincerity to the international community by implementing its past denuclearization pledges," Yun told reporters.

Choe delivered a personal letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Xi. Although China's state media said the letter contained Kim's intention to rejoin the six-party talks, the North's media has made no mention of such intentions.

Yun said he is aware of the different reports of Choe's conversations with Xi between Chinese and North Korean media, but reserved comment on his assessment about Choe's visit to China.

"There has been discord in media reports by the Chinese and North Korean side" about the meeting between Xi and Choe, Yun said.

"Depending on actions North Korea takes in the future, we could accurately determine what the North's intentions are and how serious it is about denuclearization," Yun said.

During the meeting between Xi and Choe, Xi reconfirmed China's policy of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, while urging all sides to remain calm and exercise restraint for the resumption of the six-party talks.

Choe conveyed North Korea's willingness to open dialogue on the issue with "concerned parties," and Pyongyang's commitment to take active measures to ensure stability on the peninsula, according to a report by China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

After Choe made the three-day visit to China last week, North Korea showed signs of backing away from confrontation with the international community, though skepticism still persists about its true intentions.

The six-party talks, involving the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan, have been stalled since late 2008 when the North walked out of the discussions. This year, Pyongyang has publicly decleared its nuclear weapons program is non-negotiable following its third nuclear test.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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