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Report: Two Koreas May Hold More Nuclear Talks Soon

North and South Korean negotiators are likely to meet next week for a second round of talks aimed at restarting stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament negotiations, a news report said Friday.

The South's chief nuclear negotiator Wi Sung-Lac and his counterpart Ri Yong-Ho of North Korea are likely to hold talks in Beijing, possibly on Wednesday, Yonhap news agency said.

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Seoul Arrests Suspected N. Korean Poison Assassin

South Korea has arrested a North Korean agent who plotted to assassinate an outspoken anti-Pyongyang activist with a poison-tipped needle, the intended victim and a news report said Friday.

The agent, identified only as An, was in possession of the needle and other weapons at the time of his arrest, Yonhap news agency said.

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U.S., EU Slam Pyongyang at U.N. Atomic Agency

The United States and the European Union sharply criticized North Korea on Wednesday as the board of the U.N. atomic agency was briefed on Pyongyang's nuclear activities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s latest report "is testimony to the long history of the DPRK (North Korea)'s lack of cooperation with the agency," a U.S. statement to the meeting in Vienna said.

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N.Korea Marks Anniversary with Big Military Parade

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il and his son and heir apparent appeared Friday at a military parade staged to mark the 63rd anniversary of the country's founding, official media reported.

Kim and his youngest son Jong-Un clapped from the reviewing stand as motorized units including howitzers, anti-aircraft guns and multiple launch rocket systems rumbled past, according to North Korean TV footage.

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South Korea Buying Israeli Rockets to Deter Pyongyang

South Korea has struck a $43 million deal with an Israeli company to buy advanced rockets to protect a front-line area attacked by North Korea last year, officials said Tuesday.

South Korea will deploy 67 Spike NLOS rockets on Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands in the Yellow Sea as early as late this year, a South Korean government arms procurement official said. Four South Koreans were killed on Yeonpyeong when the North shelled it last November.

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U.S. Sends Aid to Flood-stricken North Korea

The United States sent a plane loaded with a small but symbolic shipment of emergency aid that was due to arrive in flood-stricken North Korea on Saturday, in the latest sign of a thaw in relations between the countries.

A cargo plane departed Friday from the U.S. packed with $900,000 worth of food, medical aid, soap, blankets and cooking kits, according to the North Carolina-based aid group Samaritan's Purse.

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Kim Tells China N. Korea Ready for Nuclear Talks

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il told China Friday he was ready to resume six-party nuclear talks without preconditions, as he traveled through the Asian nation, China's state media said.

Kim, who travels by armored train and is on his way back from an official visit to Russia, made the comments in a meeting with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo in northeast China's Heilongjiang province.

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Five S. Koreans Charged with Spying for Pyongyang

South Korean prosecutors said Thursday they had charged five people with spying for North Korea, one of whom had been ordered personally by the North's founding father to organize revolution in the South.

The five were accused of leading an underground communist ring on instructions from North Korea's ruling communist party, the prosecutors said in a statement.

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Medvedev Wins Nuclear Pledge at Rare N. Korea Talks

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il on Wednesday promised Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in rare talks, that his reclusive state was prepared to renounce nuclear testing and allow transit of a gas pipeline.

The meeting followed Kim's four-day train ride through Russia's Far East and Siberia, his third visit to the giant neighbor in the last decade but first since 2002.

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Kim Jong Il Arrives in Siberian City for Summit Talks with Medvedev

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's armored train arrived Tuesday in an eastern Siberian city for a summit with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The North Korean leader stepped out of his train in Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia, a Buddhist province near Lake Baikal, Russian news agencies reported. Kim's motorcade left town in the direction of Turka, a picturesque village on the shores of Baikal, the Russian ITAR-Tass news agencies reported.

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