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'Elders Group' to Visit North Korea

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visits North Korea, August 25, 2010

A group of retired statesmen led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is on the way to North Korea in an effort to break the ongoing impasse in six-nation talks on ending Pyongyang's controversial nuclear program.

The so-called "Elders Group" consisting of Mr. Carter, former Irish president Mary Robinson, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari and former Norwegian prime minister Harlem Brundtland, arrived in Beijing Sunday.

The group said they will continue to North Korea Tuesday for a three-day visit before traveling to Seoul, where they are scheduled to meet senior officials, members of civil society and academia, and foreign diplomats.

Diplomatic sources say it is not clear whether the delegates would meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. But analysts say the trip is clearly aimed at helping mend ties between the two Koreas and resuming the six-party nuclear negotiations, which have been stalled for two years.