Friday, January 19, 2007

N.Korea: Deal reached in U.S. nuke talks

SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea said it reached an unspecified agreement with the U.S. this week on its nuclear weapons program, but America's top nuclear envoy said Friday he was unaware of any such deal.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry said the talks between U.S. envoy Christopher Hill and North Korea's main nuclear negotiator Kim Kye Gwan had been held "in a positive and sincere atmosphere and a certain agreement was reached there." No further details were given.

But Hill, who arrived Friday in Seoul, said he wasn't sure what agreement the statement was referring to. He called the talks in Berlin "very useful discussions" and added he was pleased that it appeared the North was also positive about them.

Hill and Kim met for three days and were believed to be discussing when to convene the next session of international talks on the North's nuclear programs, among other issues. The last round in Beijing in December — held after the North conducted its first-ever nuclear test in October — ended without any breakthroughs.

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