N Korean leader sought unconditional 6-nation crisis talks: Report
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 14:01
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 2008.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 14:01

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