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N. Korea Minister Says Satisfied with U.S. Talks

The North Korean minister who traveled to New York for talks last week said he was satisfied with the outcome and called for more discussions on resuming a stalled nuclear forum, a report said Wednesday.

First vice foreign minister Kim Kye-Gwan held talks in New York with U.S. officials led by the U.S. special envoy on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, last Thursday and Friday in the first high-level bilateral contact since 2009.

"I am satisfied with talks this time ... (and) will continue the dialogues down the road," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted him as saying in New York before leaving for Beijing en route to Pyongyang.

Kim called for "more bilateral talks" before resuming the six-party forum on North Korea's nuclear program which has been deadlocked for more than two years, Yonhap said.

The North's foreign ministry said on Monday the New York talks were "sincere and constructive" and that Pyongyang and Washington had agreed to hold further dialogues.

Kim also reiterated the communist state's claim that its controversial uranium enrichment program disclosed last November was a peaceful energy project, Yonhap said.

Experts say it could easily be reconfigured to produce weapons-grade uranium to augment the country's plutonium stockpile.

The six-party nuclear disarmament talks on the North, grouping two Koreas, U.S., Japan, China and Russia, have been at a standstill since last meeting in December 2008.

Pyongyang stormed out of negotiations in April 2009 and conducted its second nuclear test a month later.

The communist country has repeatedly expressed a desire to go back, but the U.S. urged it to show more sincerity and mend ties with the South first.

Source: Agence France Presse


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