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(LEAD) China calls for 'wisdom' to resume N. Korea nuclear talks

All Headlines 17:37 November 07, 2013

(ATTN: ADDS details, quotes in last 4 paras)

BEIJING, Nov. 7 (Yonhap) -- Nations involved in the long-stalled nuclear talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program should use their "wisdom" to restart the multilateral forum at an early date, China's foreign ministry said Thursday.

Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks as China is accelerating its diplomatic efforts to breathe new life into the six-nation talks that have been dormant since late 2008. China's chief nuclear envoy, Wu Dawei, is in Pyongyang to discuss ways to resume the talks, Hong said.

"Promoting denuclearization and upholding peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula serves the common interest of all relevant parties and also a shared responsibility of all parties," Hong said at a regular briefing.

"Under the current circumstances, the parties should use their wisdom, come back to the track of dialogue and consultations, and restart the six-party talks at an early date," Hong said.

The six-party talks involved the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan. Since conducting its third nuclear test in February, North Korea has repeatedly expressed its willingness to reopen the six-party process "without preconditions."

South Korea and the U.S. have been demanding North Korea show its sincerity first by taking steps to denuclearize itself. China has been more accommodating toward North Korea, urging South Korea and the U.S. to lower the bar for Pyongyang to sit down at the negotiating table.

In Washington, South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Cho Tae-yong held a trilateral meeting on Wednesday with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Glyn Davies and Junichi Ihara.

On his trip to Washington last week, the Chinese envoy Wu put forward Beijing's idea on initial measures Pyongyang should take before the resumption of the six-party talks, said a South Korean government official in Washington.

But the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said China's proposal is not satisfactory yet, albeit "forward-looking."

Asked about Wu's ongoing visit to North Korea, Hong said the two sides "exchanged views on the resumption of the six-party talks as well as the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

"With regard to the outcome of the consultations, we will release the information in due course," Hong said.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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