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Hu Jintao tells Pyongyang to give up on nuclear ambitions

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The president of China, Hu Jintao, delivered an ultimatum to the prime minister of the hermit kingdom of North Korea, Choe Yong-rim, saying his government will support his country, but only if it is truly committed détente on the peninsula and the path towards a gradual denuclearisation.

Hu told the North Korean prime minister, who is believed to have gone to Beijing to seek humanitarian aid for his famine stricken country, that the Chinese side of the bilateral dialogue supports “the active engagement of North Korea in détente on the Korean Peninsula and improvement in the regional environment.”

He added that he is convinced that “the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea could use the current favourable opportunity to promote further progress in the right direction.”

Choe, who is a permanent member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the North Korean Workers’ Party and prime minister of the Cabinet, listened as Hu specified that a peaceful solution to the problems of the Korean Peninsula “will result through dialogue and negotiations, the realisation of denuclearisation and the maintenance of peace and stability.

“These objectives,” Hu concluded, “correspond to the common interests of both parties and are also the common wish of the international community.”

Choe responded, “The realisation of the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the maintenance of peace and stability is the consistent stand of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which is advancing the restoration of six-party talks without conditions.”

Political commentators called this a radical departure from the policies that saw the bombing of territory in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) six months ago and the sinking of one of its ships in March last year.

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