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North Korean Nuclear Talks End in Beijing - 2003-08-29


A South Korean envoy says the six countries that met in Beijing for talks on North Korea's nuclear program have agreed the crisis should be resolved peacefully, and that the Korean Peninsula should be free of nuclear weapons.

The head of the South Korean delegation, Lee Soo-hyuck, told reporters after today's final meeting that the participants - China, the two Koreas, the United States, Japan and Russia, have agreed to meet again, but have yet to decide when or where.

Earlier reports on Thursday said North Korea had threatened to declare itself a nuclear power and conduct a nuclear test. The remark was attributed to North Korea's envoy at the talks, Kim Yong il. A White House spokeswoman said North Korea has a history of making inflammatory statements.

During the three days of talks, South Korean news reports say North Korea proposed a four-step agreement for resolving the nuclear stand-off, including a non-aggression pact and full diplomatic ties with the United States.

A State Department spokesman Thursday reiterated the U.S. stance that Pyongyang must show complete, verifiable and irreversible elimination of its nuclear weapons program.

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