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Disarmament Talks Snag on North's Refusal to Give Up Nuclear Capabilities

North Korean nuclear disarmament talks are in day 11 in Beijing, with North Korea refusing demands for it to give up all its nuclear programs.

Negotiators Friday are grappling with how to overcome what has emerged as the main impasse on day 11 of the talks: North Korea resisting demands for it to give up all its nuclear activities.

North Korean envoy, Kim Kye Gwan, spoke to reporters late Thursday. He says North Korea is not a defeated nation, and should be able to conduct peaceful nuclear activities.

U.S. envoy Christopher Hill indicated Friday this was not an option, as North Korea has already proven it will use nuclear energy facilities to produce weapons' grade materials.

Mr. Hill told reporters that any final agreement will have to include a complete end to North Korea's nuclear programs.

"We cannot have a situation where the DPRK [North Korea] pretends to abandon its nuclear weapons, and we pretend to believe them," he said. " We need to have a situation where we know precisely what they have agreed to do, what they have agreed to abandon."

Host China is working to find common ground, and has proposed four draft statements on what has been agreed. North Korea reportedly has been the only country not to accept the draft.

Mr. Hill and other envoys from Japan, Russia and South Korea believe the talks are nearing an end with or without an agreement.

This is the fourth round of six-nation talks since 2003. Three previous rounds were much shorter in duration, and produced no breakthroughs.

North Korea boycotted the negotiations for 13 month until July, when South Korea proposed providing the North with all the electricity the impoverished communist nation needs, if there were progress at these latest talks.