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US Reports "little Bit Of Progress"in Nuclear Talks With North Korea

US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies has said that "a little bit of progress" was made in talks with the North Korean delegation on reviving Six-party talks on its disputed nuclear program.

Addressing a press conference after the two-day talks, Davies said the American delegation met for about two and a half hours with the North Korean delegation led by First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan and his team at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Friday.

He termed the talks as "serious and substantive," and that "we ranged over, really, all the issues, so we found it very useful."

The next step is "to evaluate it, and look at what it was the North Koreans had to say to us, and then consult with our allies and partners in the Six-Party process." He said he already had a luncheon meeting with Wu Dawei of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who is the chairman of the Six-Party Talks. "I gave him a sense of where we stand, reported to him, and he gave me his thoughts on behalf of the People's Republic of China. That will be very useful. The next step is to talk to the allies, go back to Washington, weigh it all up, and see where we go from there," he told reporters.

The US delegation will fly to Seoul on Saturday to meet with South Korean Ambassador Lim Sung Nam and his colleagues to report to them. Then on Sunday, they will go to Tokyo to meet with Director-General Sugiyama and others in the Japanese government.

The US envoy said he "doesn't want to get into the substance of the discussions" nor "to announce any particular result from these talks."

He said the two sides talked about issues that relate to denuclearization, uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon that that North Koreans revealed to the world in 2010, nonproliferation, humanitarian issues, human rights, the issue of the abductees, and "from the stand point of the concerns that are so important to the Japanese and quite frankly to all of us."

Davies said he also talked about "the importance of North Korea working hard to try to improve its relations with its neighbors, in particular on the Peninsula, in terms of better North-South relations and more frequent contacts between the two sides."

He said the US and North Korean delegations "went over in some depth over all of those subjects in three lengthy sessions, including at a dinner last night. We could cover a lot of ground."

"The fact that Pyongyang was willing to sit down with us and go over all of these issues in some depth relatively soon after the political change in North Korea itself is positive and demonstrates a degree of progress," according to Davies.

The U.S.-North Korea talks were the first after the death of the North's longtime leader Kim Jong-il late last year, and the third since July for convincing Pyongyang to return to the negotiation table.

To a question if he thinks there was a breakthrough to the six party talks, Davies replied that "the word breakthrough goes way too far."

Davies added that there was no "dramatic differences in how the North Korean delegation presented their views or in how they dealt with the points that we made."

by RTT Staff Writer

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