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    Russia, China reiterate stance on nuclear non-proliferation pact

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    Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao said in a joint declaration following bilateral talks in Beijing that Russia and China would continue efforts to prevent the deployment of nuclear weapons in space.

    BEIJING, March 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and China remain committed to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the two countries' presidents said Tuesday.

    Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao said in a joint declaration following bilateral talks in Beijing that Russia and China would continue efforts to prevent the deployment of nuclear weapons in space.

    The two presidents also said that six-nation talks remain the best way to finding a solution to the ongoing Korean nuclear impasse, and called on all parties to the talks to maintain tolerance and flexibility and take a constructive approach.

    Negotiations involving Russia, North and South Korea, the United States, China, and Japan began in August 2003 in a bid to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear program.

    At the latest round of talks in September, North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for aid and security guarantees, but later refused to return to the negotiating table until Washington lifted financial sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for alleged involvement in counterfeiting and other illegal activities.

    The U.S. has been pressing China to use its leverage as North Korea's main ally and supplier of aid to secure the resumption of the talks.

    More than 100 states have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which came into effect in 1970.

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