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North Korea offers to resume six-way talks on Sep 13
Updated: 2005-09-06 09:35

North Korea has offered to resume six-way nuclear disarmament talks in Beijing on September 13, AFP reported.

China, host of the talks, has received the North Korean offer which was then relayed by Beijing to the Seoul government, Yonhap news agency said.

South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Lee Kyu-Hyung said he was unable to confirm the Yonhap report but expected an official announcement from Beijing soon.

"China is soon expected to announce a final date for the talks to resume after consultations with other dialogue partners," Lee told AFP.

The fourth round of talks, which involve North Korea, South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan, broke off on August 7 for a three-week recess and were originally due to resume in the final week of August.

But North Korea delayed the talks for another two weeks, announcing they would resume at sometime in the week of September 12, citing annual South Korea-US war games for the delay.

Talks will resume with the United States and North Korea still at loggerheads over Pyongyang's demand for the right to retain its nuclear power plants for peaceful use.

The nuclear standoff flared in October 2002 with the United States accusing North Korea of developing a secret uranium-enrichment program in violation of a 1994 arms control pact.

Pyongyang has denied the US charges but declared in February this year that it had already built nuclear bombs.

Since 2003, the six parties have held talks to disarm North Korea in exchange for diplomatic and economic benefits and security guarantees.

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