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US Official Says North Korea Stalling Talks - 2004-10-12

A senior U.S. diplomat has accused North Korea of deliberately stalling negotiations on ending its nuclear ambitions.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told reporters in Tokyo that it appears the North Koreans don't have much interest in holding talks before the U.S. presidential elections. He called that a miscalculation on Pyongyang's part.

Mr. Armitage is in Tokyo for talks with Japanese officials on the best way to re-energize the six-party negotiations on North Korea's nuclear program.

A Japanese foreign ministry spokesman says Washington and Tokyo agreed to continue to urge North Korea to take part in the six-way talks without preconditions.