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26 March 2017 14:57 (South Africa)

China says it’s time to act on North Korea disarmament talks

North Korea appears keen to improve ties with the US and major Asian neighbours and, perhaps, rejoin nuclear talks, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said, urging fellow leaders not to let the opportunity slip away. “We need to seize the opportunity and make the most of it,” he said. These remarks are the latest indication North Korea is shifting its position after pulling out of six-nation disarmament talks and conducting nuclear and missile tests. But the North says it first wants direct talks with the US before re-entering the multilateral negotiations. The North's nuclear programme was discussion topic number one as Wen, the new Japanese Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak met in Beijing for the three nation’s annual summit.

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