N Korean leader sought unconditional 6-nation crisis talks: Report

N Korean leader Kim Jong II told a senior Chinese envoy last week that he favours unconditional talks among the two Koreas.

Beijing: North Korean leader Kim Jong II told a senior Chinese envoy last week that he favours unconditional talks among the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia to reduce heightened tension on the
Korean Peninsula, diplomatic sources said.

The Kim`s position on China`s proposal for urgent
talks among the chief delegates to the stalled six-party talks
on North Korea`s denuclearisation was conveyed to Chinese
State Councilor Dai Bingguo during his Dec 8-9 visit to
Pyongyang as part of China`s diplomatic efforts to ease
tensions on the peninsula, sources said yesterday.

China`s proposal has met with a less-than-enthusiastic
response in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo, which want North
Korea to first cease its provocative actions and take positive
steps toward denuclearisation.

But the sources said Kim rejected such imposition of
conditions for the China-proposed six-way crisis talks.

Earlier yesterday, Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Jiang Yu Jiang told reporters at a regular press
briefing that in Dai`s meetings in Pyongyang, the North Korean
side reacted with a "positive attitude" to China`s proposal.

Dai travelled to the North Korea`s capital amid
heightened tensions in the wake of its deadly shelling of a
South Korean island on Nov. 23 and the revelation that the
North has completed a new uranium enrichment facility at its Yongbyon nuclear complex.
Since those developments, China has been under strong
pressure to rein in its traditional ally.

Jiang said both Beijing and Pyongyang "believe the
parties should keep calm and exercise restraint, take a
responsible attitude to avoid further escalation of the
tensions and play a constructive role in safeguarding peace
and stability on the peninsula."
She said they also consider it important to "push
forward the six-party talks process, make efforts to realise
denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula and realise the
normalisation of relations between countries involved." The
six-party denuclearisation talks were last held in December

Bureau Report

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