Progress but no pledges as nuclear talks end


Geneva : The US said it was hopeful that North Korea would provide a full declaration on its nuclear programmes, while making no mention of a timetable, after talks in Geneva between the two countries ended Friday, according to dpa. US representative Christopher Hill said: “We looked at some of the issues that have been problematic. We explored some avenues for going forward, but we’re still working on these issues.”

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He described the talks with his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye Gwan as “a good consultation.”

North Korea proposed the meeting to try to break the stalemate between the two sides. Washington accused Pyongyang of breaching the landmark six-party agreement reached in October to provide a full declaration of its nuclear activities and disable its main reactor by
the end of 2007. Pyongyang said it had fallen behind after the US and other nations failed to supply all the promised energy and other aid agreed in the disarmament deal. Relations reached crisis point in October 2006 when Pyongyang admitted conducting its first ever nuclear test. Tensions eased when North Korea agreed to six-party talks with its Korean neighbour, China, Japan, Russia and the US last year. Hill insisted Geneva was not “a decisional meeting” at the end of the talks.

“I would say there’s been progress. But we are not there yet, and we still have to continue work on this,” Hill said. The US and North Korea are hoping to make progress before the six- party talks, under the presidency of China, resume in the coming weeks.