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US, North Korea Conclude Third Round of Meetings in Berlin

U.S. and North Korean officials have ended their third round of meetings in Berlin with no clear sign that six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons will quickly resume.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said there was little change in either side's position after the discussions between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and North Korean negotiator Kim Kye Gwan.

The two envoys started talks Tuesday on resuming the six-party negotiations aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons. On Wednesday, Hill described the talks with his North Korean counterpart as "useful."

He also voiced hope that another round of multilateral negotiations will be held this month. But he said China, as the host of the talks, will make the final decision.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Tom Lantos, says he will return to North Korea in the coming months for talks on the goal of establishing a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

Hill is to hold consultations with other nations involved in the six-party talks. He is due in Seoul Friday, and also will travel to Beijing and Tokyo.

Pyongyang carried out a nuclear test in October 2006, but returned to the negotiating table in December of last year. Last month's talks ended with no sign of a breakthrough.

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