02/03/2004
Press Release
SG/SM/9181



SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES PROGRESS IN SIX-PARTY BEIJING TALKS;


SAYS STEP TOWARDS NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREEKOREANPENINSULA


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:


The Secretary-General welcomes progress at the six-party talks, held in Beijing on 25-28 February 2004.  This round of talks has produced a noticeable step forward towards a nuclear-weapons-free Korean peninsula.  It has opened a pathway to full-fledged and continuing negotiations aimed at a comprehensive approach to durable peace in the region.  The Secretary-General commends the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the United States and other participating governments for their commitment to peaceful resolution of the issues through dialogue.  He thanks China for its effective role as host and facilitator.


The Beijing process will confront serious challenges, particularly in light of the lack of mutual trust and confidence amongst some of the parties.  The Secretary-General will continue supporting this multilateral collective effort to resolve through negotiations the issues threatening the security and stability of the peninsula.  His Personal Envoy will work with the parties concerned on ways to mobilize the support of the international community to this end.


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