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    BEIJING, February 23, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- In the wake of his consultations with Wang Yi, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Chinese People's Republic, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksander Losyukov disclosed to Russian journalists that principle Russian and Chinese approaches to settlement of the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula fully coincided.

    The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister stated that "principle Russian and Chinese approaches to settlement of the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula fully coincided".

    Losyukov reminded that "Russia described its principle approach in the so-called package solution proposed by Russia to North Korea and the USA." According to him, the essential idea of the proposed solution was to settle the conflict, which emerged in connection with the DPRK nuclear program through a dialogue provided DPRK give up its military nuclear program in exchange for safety and US non-interference guarantees granted to North Korea".

    Losyukov stressed that "the Russian side was operating on the assumption that first of all the Korean peninsula should stay within the nuclear non-proliferation sphere." According to him, "it is necessary to move towards resolution of the problem through coordinated and agreed steps made by all parties." Losyukov opined that it was necessary to establish a permanent working group of experts within the framework of which and in the intervals between the sessions to carry out analytical and preparatory work to settle the problem.

    Diplomatic sources reported to RIA Novosti that the Russian and Chinese deputy foreign ministers were "hopeful that the meeting would bring results." Heads of the Russian and Chinese delegations agreed to maintain close contacts and to make every effort for the second round of negotiations scheduled for February 25th to bring real results.

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