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China Develops Working Group Plan for North Korea - 2004-03-16

China says it has developed a plan for setting up working groups to help resolve the standoff over North Korea's nuclear program.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters Tuesday that Beijing sent copies of the proposal to the United States, North Korea, Japan, South Korea and Russia. Details of the Chinese proposal were not released.

The six countries have held two rounds of talks in Beijing on resolving the North Korea nuclear standoff. During last month's second round of talks, the countries agreed to create working groups to work out details on ending the crisis.

The spokesman also said a Chinese envoy returned to Beijing Tuesday after four days of talks in North Korea. He said the discussions concerned the future of six-party talks on the nuclear issue.

South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuck is currently in Beijing for talks on forming a North Korea working group. He led the South Korean delegation during last month's Beijing talks.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.