North Korean negotiations to resume

Next round of six-party talks on nuclear programme set for December 18.

    Diplomats have been haggling for six
    weeks to set the date for the talks

    Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, said Tokyo planned to bring up the lingering issue of North Korea's abduction of Japanese nationals in the 70s and 80s.
    Talks between North and South Korea, the US, Japan, Russia and host China were suspended after Pyongyang objected to financial sanctions imposed by the US.
    Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, said in Tokyo: "At the six-party talks, we must push for North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons a step at a time. We must urge North Korea to take concrete steps."
    Meanwhile on Monday, Vietnam said it was encouraging North Korea to change tack on its nuclear programme and avoid sanctions.
    Le Van Bang, the deputy foreign minister, said: "We are working with our friends the DPRK [North Korea] and Iran and other countries we have very good relations with to show them how we have integrated ourselves into the international arena, not to have embargoes, or to be isolated."
    In September last year, North Korea agreed to "abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes" in return for aid and security guarantees from the US and other countries.
    On October 9 this year, Pyongyang tested a nuclear device for the first time.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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