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North Korea Nuclear Talks Recess in Beijing - 2004-02-28


A second round of six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program has ended in Beijing, with China citing differences between the parties and a U.S. official declaring the meeting a success.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing closed the four-day negotiating session today (Saturday). He says all sides agreed to set up a working group and to hold another round of talks in Beijing before the end of June.

Speaking at a closing ceremony, Mr. Li said "serious differences" exist between the parties, but he did not specify what they were.

A senior U.S. official (who asked not to be identified) called the Beijing talks "very successful," and said all participants except North Korea agreed on the need for a complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of the North's nuclear programs.

However, the North's chief delegate, Kim Kye Gwan, told reporters the outcome of the meetings was neither substantial nor positive. Mr. Kim said the future prospects of the talks depend entirely on the attitude of the United States.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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