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 'Grandpa Wen' scores

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Join date : 2009-10-04
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PostSubject: 'Grandpa Wen' scores   Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:04 pm

'Grandpa Wen' scores

BEIJING - AFTER nearly six months of chill, the frost between allies China and North Korea has been thawed with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's three-day visit to the reclusive nation, said analysts on Tuesday.

The Chinese government scored much-needed points bilaterally, and would not be too disappointed that it failed to pull off the diplomatic coup of conclusively dragging Pyongyang back to the six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.

While reports yesterday indicated that North Korea was close to restoring its Yongbyon atomic plant, the unpredictable country has softened its stance somewhat on the multilateral forum that it quit in April.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il told Mr Wen late on Monday that returning to negotiations depends on Pyongyang first having a dialogue with Washington.

'Beijing knew it was never going to get an unconditional 'yes' from North Korea to return to the six-party talks,' said analyst Jin Canrong of Renmin University. 'But while the door was slammed shut in the past, at least it is now slightly ajar.'

The North's state news agency KCNA quoted Mr Kim as saying to Mr Wen: 'The hostile relations between the DPRK (North Korea) and the United States should be converted into peaceful ties through the bilateral talks without fail.

Read the full story in Wednesday's edition of The Straits Times.
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