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Six-Party Countries Welcome Pyeongyang's Decision, Actions Must Be Followed Updated: 2012-03-02 12:00:00 KST

Six-Party Countries Welcome Pyeongyang's Decision, Actions Must Be Followed
North Korea's closest ally China embraced the move, saying it quote "welcomes the improvement in relations between North Korea and the United States and their contributions to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula."
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement that "China is willing to play a constructive role to realize long-term peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia and to work with relevant parties to continue to push forward the six-party talks process."

Further north, Russia said North Korea’s new step will help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Russia's Defense Committee First Deputy Chairman Sergei Zhigarev told the Itar-Tass news agency that Pyeongyang would not follow the same path chosen by Iran, but instead open up and cooperate with the international community despite its reputation as the "Hermit Kingdom."
Zhigarev attributed the change of stance to the North's young leader Kim Jong-un who's been educated abroad saying he might be able to embark upon a detente for the Korean Peninsula.
Another Russian foreign affairs First Deputy Chairman, Konstantin Kosachev noted that Pyongyang’s moratorium on nuclear activities is the way for North Korea to put an end to its international isolation and is the only correct decision for the DPRK.

Tokyo was rather cautious following Wednesday's announcement.
While labeling Pyeogyang's latest agreement a 'significant accomplishment,' Japan isn't optimistic about the six-party talks resuming soon.

[Interview : Koichiro Gemba, Japanese Foreign Minister] "Are we in a situation where the six-party talks will be resumed immediately Gemba added that Japan's goal remains unchanged: that all nuclear-related facilities be stopped, and that the Korean Peninsula be free of nuclear weapons.

Over in the U.S., Washington called it a "positive first step."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that "these are concrete measures that we consider a positive first step toward complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner."

But all of them had one condition in mind: that the North back up its words with action.
Pyeongyang's promise of halting its uranium enrichment program must be verified as well as allowing IAEA officials into the state for monitoring.
Song Ji-sun, Arirang News.
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