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Rice, Chinese FM on the same page - US spokesman
Updated: 2005-09-21 10:20

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met her Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing and both agreed that the North Korean nuclear deal reached in Beijing was binding on the parties, a US spokesman said, AFP reported.

"They both agreed that the agreement signed in Beijing by the six parties was the binding text for (the) parties, including on the question of light water reactors," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

"Both agreed that the next round of six-party talks should focus on issues related to the North's dismantlement of its nuclear programs and the verification of that dismantlement," he added.

Monday, North Korea pledged to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for pledges of aid and security, at the end of week-long talks in Beijing with the United States, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea -- which have tried since 2003 to persuade Pyongyang to disarm.

The unexpected deal also said Washington would respect the North's sovereignty and would not attack, a fear Pyongyang had repeatedly said was a main reason for insisting on developing an atomic bomb program.

North Korea however said Tuesday it would not dismantle its nuclear weapons until the United States delivered light-water reactors, casting doubt on the agreement heralded as a breakthrough for peace.

McCormack also said that during the 30-minute meeting, the two sides pledged to work closely together at the International Atomic Energy Agency on the question of Iran.

Britain, France and Germany pushed Tuesday for Iran to be reported to the UN Security Council for "breaches" of international nuclear safeguards.

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