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China's Communist leaders are now seeking a return to the "six party" talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament. They came to a standstill more than two years ago.
The Chinese Communist Party's foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, made the call in a speech in Beijing. He was opening a forum to mark the anniversary of the very first six-party talks on North Korea.
The six-party talks, held in Beijing since 2003, have brought together North and South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Russia in irregular bouts of intense negotiations.
North Korea walked out of the talks more than two years ago after the United Nations imposed fresh sanctions on it for holding nuclear and missile tests.
But since then negotiations have faltered, and Beijing's role has eroded... due largely for its refusal to denounce Pyongyang for repeated deadly confrontations with South Korea. These have included sudden acts of violence such as artillery attacks on naval forces.
Beijing, which is North Korea's sole big diplomatic backer and economic partner, took the long-stalled six-party negotiations as a trophy of regional diplomacy. However it too, like North Korea, has recently displayed a pattern of aggression and lack of cooperation with the international community.