RUSSIA DOING MUCH FOR NORTH KOREA TALKS: CHINESE AMBASSADOR

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MOSCOW, MARCH 30 (RIA NOVOSTI) - China greatly appreciates Russian contribution to negotiations on North Korea, Liu Guchang, Chinese Ambassador to Russia, said to a news conference.

"China and Russia are coming out in close contact on the international scene. Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue are no exception," he added.

Russia is in duty bound, and has every opportunity, to be prominent in solving the problem. That has been the Chinese opinion ever since the negotiation started.

Thanks to Sino-Russian team efforts, the second round of the six countries' negotiations made a stride toward a nuclear-free status of the Korean Peninsula, stressed the diplomat.

With its active stance, Russia has been keeping in close contact with China, and persuading North Korea and the USA. The result is there for all to see - an accord has been achieved to set up an ad hoc team, and to coordinate a final negotiation document, said Mr. Liu as he highlighted Russian consent to offer energy supply guarantees to North Korea.

"We highly appreciate what Russia has done for successful negotiations, and we look forward to further cooperated efforts with Russia to come to peaceful settlement of the Korean nuclear issue," he said.

The negotiations on the North Korean nuclear issue involve North and South Korea, the USA, Japan, China and Russia. Beijing was hosting a second round in February 2004.

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