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Progress made in N. Korea talks

Associated Press

BEIJING – Negotiators tried to work out a joint statement on eliminating North Korea’s nuclear weapons program during a sixth day of talks Sunday, but differences remained over demands by the communist state for what it would get in return. The U.S. envoy, however, said “things are moving” as more talks were planned today.

Deputy leaders of delegations from six governments met for five hours at a Chinese government guesthouse to examine a China-proposed draft statement, a South Korean official said on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing talks.

Discussions Sunday focused on “what corresponding measures other parties will take” in return for the North’s agreement to dismantle its weapons program, South Korea’s chief envoy said.

“It was a place where we could listen to each party’s opinions on the draft,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Song Min-soon.

“We are trying to come up with an agreed statement which contains all the key points that have been discussed so far, but how long it will take remains to be seen,” he said. Song said more meetings were planned Monday.

The chief U.S. envoy, Christopher Hill, has praised the Chinese proposal as a “good basis” for future negotiations but cautioned that differences remained with North Korea on a resolution of the 21/2-year-old nuclear standoff.

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