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China urges N.Korea, US to work out differences
Updated: 2006-01-05 21:13

China urges North Korea and the United States to work out their problems in order to make progress in talks on dismantling the North's nuclear weapons programs, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

 China urges N.Korea, US to work out differences
U.S. and North Korean soldiers stand guard at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone, north of Seoul, November 30, 2005. [Reuters]

The two Koreas, the United States, Japan, Russia and China agreed at talks in Beijing in September on a broad set of principles aimed at having the arms programs scrapped in return for aid and friendly ties.

The talks have since hit a snag, with the main protagonists, Pyongyang and Washington, sparring over the North's alleged illegal activities to finance its weapons programs.

"China hopes each party can take the overall situation into consideration and handle properly issues that both sides are concerned about," spokesman Qin Gang told a news conference.

"China is willing to play an active and constructive role in pushing forward the talks," Qin added.

North Korea this week demanded an end to a U.S. crackdown on its financial dealings before the six-party talks on dismantling its nuclear weapons can continue.

The United States has clamped down on several North Korean companies it suspects of involvement in counterfeiting, money laundering and the drugs trade, saying the illicit businesses had helped fund Pyongyang's drive to develop atomic weapons.

North Korea declared in February last year it now had nuclear weapons.

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