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N. Korea, U.S. to hold more nuclear talks in Geneva

North Korea and the United States will hold a second round of bilateral talks next week in Geneva to discuss the stalled six-nation talks on the North’s nuclear weapons programs, a diplomatic source in Seoul said Monday.

“I have learned that a high-level dialogue between North Korea and the U.S. will be held in Geneva,” the source told Yonhap News Agency on the condition of anonymity, adding that the two sides might meet on Oct. 26.

North Korean and U.S. officials held a preliminary discussion in New York in late July to gauge the possibility of resuming the six-party talks, which also involve South Korea, China, Russia and Japan.

Last month, the chief nuclear envoys from the two Koreas met for the second time to discuss the terms for resuming the multilateral forum, but no tangible progress was reported.

The six-party talks, aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programs in exchange for economic and political aid, have been dormant since Pyongyang left them in April 2009. The North then conducted its second nuclear test a month later.

Seoul and Washington have insisted that Pyongyang halt all nuclear activities, including its uranium enrichment program, and allow U.N. inspectors to monitor the suspension as preconditions to reopening the six-party talks. North Korea, however, is pushing to resume the forum without any conditions attached. 

(Yonhap News)
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