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Richardson In North Korea For Nuclear Talks

Richardson said Friday his three-day trip to North Korea was unofficial but White House-backed and was aimed at giving momentum to the six-way nuclear disarmament talks.

Seoul (AFP) Oct 17, 2005
US politician Bill Richardson, hoping to persuade the communist state to abandon its nuclear weapons, arrived in North Korea on Monday, Pyongyang's official media reported.

"Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico State of the United States, and his party arrived here Monday," the Korean Central News Agency said in a brief dispatch.

Richardson said Friday his three-day trip to North Korea was unofficial but White House-backed and was aimed at giving momentum to the six-way nuclear disarmament talks.

The two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia, and the United States resumed six-way talks on scrapping North Korea's nuclear arsenal in September. At the talks, Pyongyang agreed to a statement of principles under which it would give up its atomic weapons in return for energy and security guarantees.

But North Korea later warned it will not dismantle its nuclear arsenal until the United States delivers light-water reactors to allow it to generate power, leaving the prospect of prolonged multilateral wrangling.

September's six-party talks in Beijing are expected to be followed by a new round of negotiations in November.

The US governor will visit Japan and South Korea to brief officials in Tokyo and Seoul of the outcomes of his North Korea visit before returning to the United States, according to his aides.

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Iran Must Return To Talks: US
Washington (AFP) Oct 17, 2005
The White House said Monday that Iran must return to negotiations aimed at easing fears that Tehran is trying to get nuclear weapons or face possible UN Security Council sanctions.

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