N Korea nuke talks to resume from Dec 18
North Korea has boycotted the talks since November last year, angered by US financial restrictions.india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 02:15 IST
International talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programme are highly likely to resume in the week starting December 18, South Korea's top nuclear envoy said on Sunday.
Chun Yung-woo said that he expects the talks to resume in the week starting December 18, but that consultations are still under way and China will announce the date soon.
North Korea has boycotted the talks since November last year, angered by US financial restrictions imposed over Pyongyang's alleged involvement in money laundering and counterfeiting of dollars.
The parties to the talks - the two Koreas, the US, host China, Russia and Japan - have been trying to set a date for the fresh round of talks. North Korea agreed to a resumption of negotiations after it tested a nuclear bomb on October 9.
In Washington, a senior US official said the talks are expected to reconvene December 18 in Beijing and continue for three to five days. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because host China has not announced a final schedule.
Chun said Seoul hopes to see "substantial progress toward implementing the September 19 statement" in the upcoming nuclear talks, referring to a breakthrough agreement reached at talks last year when North Korea agreed to abandon its atomic programme in exchange for security guarantees and aid.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday said that any future nuclear talks must yield "early and concrete results.