SKorea sees nuclear talks on North in December

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Seoul, Nov 3: The six countries in stalled talks to end North Korea's nuclear weapons programme will likely return to the table in December after possibly holding an informal meeting to iron out details, South Korea's envoy said on Friday.

Earlier this week, North Korea agreed to rejoin the discussions involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States after staying away for a year in protest at a US crackdown on its international finances.

''An informal meeting can be possible by around the end of November, so as to help the formal talks to take place during December,'' Chun Yung-woo, South Korea's chief envoy to the nuclear talks, told KBS radio.

Chun indicated the discussions will be held in China, which has hosted all of the previous rounds and is the closest thing Pyongyang has to an ally. US officials have said they expect the discussions to resume in November or December.

North Korea, which was hit with UN sanctions after holding its first nuclear test on October 9, should not drag its feet in diplomacy, Chun added.

''North Korea is running out of cards after a nuclear test and strong pressure from China. If North Korea waits too long, there is little possibility for its situation to get any better,'' Chun told the national broadcaster, according to a transcript it provided on its Web site.


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