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Next round of six-party talks to last 3 days, resume by yearend
Updated: 2005-11-07 11:07

The next round of North Korean nuclear disarmament talks, scheduled to start Wednesday in Beijing, will last three days and convene again by year's end, a news report said Monday.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei announced the timeframe to Japanese reporters in Beijing, Kyodo News reported.

China announced last week that the six nations involved in the negotiations would meet in the Chinese capital starting Wednesday to seek further progress in what have been two years of slow-moving talks. While it did not specify the length of the current round, China said it might recess so negotiators could attend the November 12-19 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Busan, South Korea.

China has organized four rounds of negotiations since 2003 on the North Korean nuclear issue, leading to an agreement in September for the North to give up its atomic programs in exchange for energy aid, security guarantees and diplomatic recognition. However, less than a day after the agreement, North Korea cast doubts on it by demanding that it be given a nuclear power generating plant before ending its nuclear programs.

This week's talks, which involve China, the U.S., the two Koreas, Japan and Russia, are expected to focus on the implementation of the agreement.

In the September accord, North Korea "committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning at an early date" to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

It said the North's request for a light-water nuclear reactor should be discussed "at an appropriate time."

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