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DPRK hints at compromise on nuke talks
Updated: 2005-08-14 14:32

PYONGYANG, North Korea -- North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator says Pyongyang may be willing to offer proof that it does not have a uranium-based weapons program, which the United States claims it does, CNN reported.

An image of the Korean peninsula is seen on a large 'unification flag' as it is is raised during the opening ceremony for the inter-Korean unification festival in Seoul August 14, 2005. [Reuters]
The apparently conciliatory gesture from Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Kwan comes ahead of a planned resumption of six-party talks at the end of the month aimed at getting North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program.

North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States have been taking part in those talks.

One of the most contentious issues at the negotiations has been Washington's claim that North Korea has a secret uranium weapons program in addition to its declared plutonium one.

In a rare interview with CNN in the North Korean capital, Kim repeated Pyongyang's denial that it has a uranium-based program. But in a hint to the United States that North Korea is willing to compromise, he said the issue was open to negotiation.

"We don't have any uranium-based weapons program, but in the future if there is any kind of evidence that needs to be clarified we will be fully prepared to do so." he said.

Kim also said North Korea wants to pursue a peaceful nuclear program and is willing to adopt "strict supervision" of its nuclear facilities.

"As we resolve the nuclear issue we are willing to return to the NPT (nuclear non-proliferation treaty) and fully abide by IAEA (U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards.
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