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China to Suggest Working Group for Peace

Posted February. 06, 2007 06:49,   


The Asahi Shimbun reported on February 5 that China is planning to suggest organizing a working group for a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula at the six-party talks held in Beijing from February 8.

China seems to want to change the truce agreement the North and the South concluded at the end of the Korean War to a peace treaty. Its government considers four countries – the three signatories of the truce including North Korea, the U.S. and China plus South Korea – as the logical participants in the working group.

Prior to the suggestion, China proposed setting up another working group to discuss five issues: the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, ties between the North and the U.S., between the North and Japan, energy support to Pyongyang, and the security of Northeast Asia.

According to Asahi, a source from China said that establishing a working group was in the Joint Statement of September 2005. The statement includes the sentence, “The countries concerned will discuss a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula in separate talks.”

Meanwhile, Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and head of the U.S. delegation to the six-party talks, said on February 5, “I will seek ways to visit Pyongyang if it is good for U.S. interests.” He, however, said he had not been invited to Pyongyang.

After saying that at a restaurant in Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul in a meeting with editorial writers of newspapers, he added, “What the U.S. needs is not a partial success of the six-nation talks but a complete implementation of the 9.19 joint statement.”

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