China to Hold Symposium on the North Korean Nuclear Dispute

The Chinese government announced that next week it will hold a symposium on the North Korean nuclear dispute with the sixth anniversary of a minimal agreement signed in Beijing in 2005 but did not specify the day of the symposium.

The announcement came when South Korean officials reported from Seoul that they will meet next week in Beijing with representatives of North Korea, China has not confirmed if the meeting is part of the symposium on nuclear dispute.

“China supports the improvement of relations between both countries to initiate a dialogue that will strengthen mutual trust to achieve reconciliation,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, without confirming the meeting between the two Koreas in Beijing.

The spokesman simply noted that representatives of the six countries involved in the dialogue the two Koreas, U.S., Russia, Japan and China will meet in China’s capital to mark the sixth anniversary of minimal agreement reached six years ago to dismantle the North’s nuclear program.

Yu noted that Wu Dawei, China’s top negotiator on North Korean conflict will participate in this symposium, but did not confirm if the rest of negotiators will travel to Beijing.

The agreement was the only progress of a dialogue initiated in 2003, and reflected the commitment of Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for financial aid, energy and political recognition from the U.S. and Japan.

But negotiations stalled in December 2008, when North Korea refused to allow verification of the closure of its nuclear facilities, the regime did two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, and several ballistic launches.

From Seoul, Korean diplomatic sources said Thursday through the agency Yonhap that South Korean nuclear charge, Wi Sung-lac, and North Korea Ri Yong-ho, will meet in the middle of next week in Beijing.

The announcement comes after the past few months representatives from the nuclear talks have held several meetings to resume talks and that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il traveled to Russia and China, where he was prepared to impose a moratorium on its nuclear program if restart the Six-Party Talks.

The two Koreas are at odds since the war that held between 1950 and 1953, and ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.