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US Diplomat Says Parties to North Korean Nuclear Talks in Agreement


A top U.S. envoy says the partners in the six-party nuclear talks with North Korea are united in their approach to resolving the nuclear standoff.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told reporters in Beijing Thursday that China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States agree that North Korea needs to abide by the agreement it signed in 2005.

Under that deal, North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear ambitions in exchange for economic and diplomatic benefits. Burns said the partners also agree on the implementation of U.N. sanctions against North Korea approved last month following Pyongyang's nuclear test.

Burns made the comments following meetings with Russian and Chinese officials in Beijing. He met earlier this week with officials from Japan and South Korea. He is accompanied by Robert Joseph, who U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control.

North Korea agreed last week to return to the talks, after boycotting them for nearly a year.

Burns said no date for the new six-party talks has been set. He said he expects that will be a topic for discussion at next week's meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group to be held in Hanoi.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.