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22 Dec, 2006 11:00

Stalemate in North Korea nuclear talks

Stalemate in North Korea nuclear talks

The round of six-nation talks in Beijing on North Korea's nuclear programme has failed to make a breakthrough. No agreement was reached after 5 days of negotiations which involved the U.S., North Korea, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

The talks resumed after a 13-month suspension, during which North Korea conducted its first nuclear test.

Before that, progress appeared to be occurring, when in 2005 Pyongyang agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for aid and security guarantees. It also re-joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

North Korea later boycotted further meetings in protest against financial sanctions imposed by Washington.

“When the DPRK  raises problems, one day it's financial issues, another day it's something they want that they know they can't have, another day it's something that was said about them that's hurt their feelings, you know it's sort of one thing after another. So I think what they need to do is get serious about the issue that has made them such a problem,” US Envoy Christopher Hill told journalists after the talks.

The 5 countries called on North Korea to take the situation seriously.