Six-party talks saw no results yet

The third day of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programme has ended without agreement in Beijing. The talks have so far failed to determine a form, amount and timeline for the delivery of economic assistance.

Delegates are trying to hammer out a deal that would see North Korea dismantle its nuclear facilities in exchange for aid and energy guarantees.

Nuclear envoys have entered a critical stage in their tough negotiations. They’re working through the details of a draft proposal as circulated by China on Thursday.

Japan's nuclear envoy says he is expecting China to submit a second draft after further discussions. And he outlined some of the issues hampering the development of the talks.

“Unfortunately as of today we have not reached a conclusion. We are boiling down our problems but there is no conclusion in sight on several issues.  Each party has its own way of thinking, their positions and their opinions and North Korea's position continues to be very much apart from that of the other parties.” said Kenichiro Sasae, Director-General of Japan Foreign Ministry's Asia-Oceania bureau.

Talks are focusing on a 2005 joint statement which saw North Korea agree to give up its nuclear activities in exchange for security guarantees.

On Thursday the North said it agreed in principle to halt its nuclear work but it is keeping publicly tight-lipped about setting out what terms it’s after in exchange. It reportedly wants a delivery of energy aid equivalent to 2 MLN kilowatts within 60 days during which time it will agree to close its operational nuclear reactor site. Early reports also suggest that the country wants to be supplied with 500 thousand tonnes of fuel oil every year.

Delegates from Russia, China, South Korea, Japan and the U.S. are at loggerheads over what measures North Korea needs to take and what sort of aid it should receive in return.

“The focus now is on economic and energy cooperation with the North Korean side. And the different parties are putting forward their arguments and propositions centring on this subject. And there are still big differences at this current stage,” emphasized Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman.

Moscow says it wants a nuclear free Korean peninsular, and views any continuation of nuclear work as a possible threat to Russia's Far East.

So far, three years of stop-start negotiations with North Korea have failed to settle the standoff. And following the country’s first nuclear test blast in October last year, pressure is mounting for the talks to finally deliver a conclusive outcome.