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North Korea Tells EU it is Determined to Implement Nuclear Deal


North Korea has assured a visiting European Union delegation that it will implement a landmark nuclear deal and completely dismantle its weapons program.

EU delegation officials issued a statement to that effect Thursday after returning to Berlin from a three-day visit to Pyongyang. The statement also said that during the meetings, North Korea voiced its desire for more extensive contacts and dialogue with the EU.

Last month, North Korea agreed to begin the process of dismantling its nuclear weapons program and shut down its main nuclear weapons facility. In exchange, Pyongyang was promised fuel aid and diplomatic benefits.

Several meetings have followed the agreement. North Korea's top nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye Kwan, met with U.S. envoy Christopher Hill earlier this week in New York to discuss the normalization of relations.

Japanese and North Korean officials also met in Vietnam this week to discuss the normalization of ties, but those talks broke down Thursday.

North Korean envoys said they were upset with Japan's insistence that they provide a full accounting of the abduction of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 80s before discussing any other issues.

Separately, an adviser to South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun, former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, met with North Korea's number two leader in Pyongyang Thursday. There is speculation the South Korean official may be arranging a summit with North Korea.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.