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N-talks: N Korea willing to compromise

india Updated: Feb 09, 2007 13:44 IST
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North Korea's chief nuclear envoy said on Friday he was trying to reach a compromise during six-nation talks aimed at ending his nation's atomic programme, but a deal had not yet been reached.

"There are some agreements and some contentious points as well. We are trying to make a compromise.

Please wait and see," Kim Kye-Gwan said after holding a one-on-one lunch meeting with his US counterpart, Christopher Hill.

Kim's brief comments were his first to reporters since six-party host China circulated a draft accord overnight of initial steps participants could take to begin the process of ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

The draft would see North Korea freeze its main nuclear-related facilities within two months in return for alternative energy sources, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

Although envoys to the talks refused to confirm details, Hill and others said it raised hopes Pyongyang could begin the process of disarming -- less than four months after it conducted its first atomic weapons test.

Hill told reporters after his lunch meeting he had discussed the draft with Kim, particularly the timing of actions to be taken by North Korea to kick start the disarmament process.

"We talked about the Chinese draft, our views of it, their views of it, and whether we can find a way of agreeing to it," Hill told reporters.

"There are some differences in views among the various delegations.

"The issue is which elements of the September (agreement) should be brought into the February draft and which elements perhaps have to wait until March or April."

Hill, who declined to go into the specifics of the accord, said six-nation delegates would discuss the issues further on Friday afternoon.

"Let's see if we can make some progress in the afternoon," he said.

The six-party forum, which started in 2003 with the aim of halting North Korea's nuclear ambitions, involves China, the two Koreas, the United States, Russia and Japan.

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