North Korea nuclear talks may start Nov 8 - report
Updated: 2005-10-25 10:51
The next round of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons programmes
may start on November 8, a Japanese newspaper reported on Tuesday.
A day earlier, North Korea said it would attend a new round of the talks,
under which it has agreed to dismantle its nuclear programmes in return for aid
and better ties with Washington and Tokyo.
The daily Sankei Shimbun said the talks, which include Japan, the United
States, Russia, China, South Korea and North Korea, could take place from
November 8 to November 11 in Beijing, the site of the previous rounds.
It also said that Japan and North Korea could resume bilateral talks for the
first time in nearly a year as early as November 2, in either Beijing or
Japan and North Korea agreed late last month to reopen the talks to tackle a
wide range of topics, including the North's nuclear weapons programmes as well
as Pyongyang's abduction of Japanese citizens decades ago.
Japanese foreign ministry officials were not immediately available to comment
on the report.
A spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry told the Korean Central News
Agency (KCNA) on Monday that the North would attend a new round of six-party
talks but questioned whether Washington was prepared to stick to a deal reached
"It is our consistent and invariable stand to realize the denuclearization of
the Korean peninsula through dialogue," the spokesman said.
"We will, therefore, go to the 5th six-party talks at the date to be agreed
upon early in November as the six parties had committed themselves to do so."
New Mexico governor Bill Richardson said last week that North Korea appeared
to be willing to moderate some of its demands, such as insisting on a
light-water nuclear reactor in exchange for ending its weapons programmes.
Pyongyang's insistence on the reactor had prevented a full agreement because
it is unacceptable to Washington.