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South Korea Urges North Korea to Return to Nuclear Talks

South Korea's Unification Minister, Lee Jong-seok, is urging Pyongyang to resume stalled negotiations on its nuclear program.

South Korean news reports say Lee made the request at the opening session of a new round of inter-Korean talks, which began Friday in Pyongyang. Details on North Korea's reaction to the proposal were not available.

Six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program have been stalled since last November. Pyongyang says it will not return to the talks until the United States lifts financial sanctions imposed over allegations North Korea counterfeits U.S. currency.

Washington has rejected the demand.

Reports say that during the inter-Korean talks, Lee also urged Pyongyang to address the issue of South Korean civilians and prisoners of war that Seoul says are being held against their will in the North. Pyongyang denies the allegations.

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