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China offers revised disarmament proposal
Updated: 2005-09-16 18:47

The chief U.S. envoy to talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program met Friday with his North Korean counterpart as host China proposed a compromise aimed at ending a stalemate, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill leaves his hotel for a fourth day of talks on the North Korean nuclear issue, in Beijing Friday Sept 16, 2005. The six-party talks have stalled over North Korea's demands for a light water reactor. [AP]

The proposal presented to the six nations attending the talks upholds North Korea's right to nuclear energy technology, said Russia's envoy to the talks, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev.

Beijing asked the other delegations to respond to the proposal by Saturday afternoon, he told reporters.

"It is a compromise wording which could satisfy both sides," Alexeyev said. "I keep my fingers crossed because still nothing is accepted."

Alexeyev said the group would decide Saturday either to reach an agreement or to recess.

Further details on the Chinese proposal were not immediately available.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said he had "good" discussions with the North's chief delegate, Kim Kye Gwan.

"At this point, I don't know where these will lead," Hill said after a lunch with the South Korean and Japanese negotiators. However, he added: "We are still in business."

Hill had said earlier Friday that the talks were at a standstill over the North's demands for a nuclear reactor in exchange for dismantling its weapons programs, and that he wasn't planning to meet the North Koreans.
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