N. Korea Firm In Talks With U.S.

North Korea repeated its demand Thursday for $1 billion in added concessions from the United States to ensure it dismantles its nuclear program.

There were signs the Clinton administration’s willingness to make concessions already is causing a rift with its ally South Korea, which is to pay most of the $4 billion cost of implementing the deal.

Officials on both sides were sounding much less optimistic Thursday than a day earlier, when they reported the first progress in 7 1/2 months of negotiations. No talks were held Thursday, although they had been tentatively scheduled.

North Korea says the talks could decide whether it abides by its Oct. 21 promise to dismantle its suspicious nuclear program in exchange for two modern reactors that produce far less weapons-grade plutonium.

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