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ElBaradei Hopes to Return to North Korea for Talks


The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency says he hopes to be able to go to North Korea to discuss resuming inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Mohamed ElBaradei made the comment after giving a speech Saturday in Germany. He said North Korea has not invited him to visit, but that he still hopes to go.

Last year, Pyongyang indicated it might be willing to invite officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency, possibly including ElBaradei, under certain conditions.

Six-party talks to discuss North Korea's nuclear intentions have been deadlocked for months. North Korea blames the United States for the impasse.

Earlier Saturday, Pyongyang said again it would be willing to return to the talks if the United States drops its economic sanctions against the North. Washington has called on North Korea to return to the talks without preconditions.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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