Washington calls on Pyongyang to continue negotiations on nuclear programme

Within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum in Cambodia, US Secretary of State Colin Powell has met special representatives of North Korea. The American diplomat urged them to continue the multilateral negotiating process with regard to the situation around North Korea's nuclear programme.

Following the talks, Assistant Secretary of State James Kelley declined to answer journalists' questions as to what the North Korean response had been. He apologised, but said he had not been present at the talks.

Kelly said that the USA was intending to continue consultations with China, South Korea and Japan on the North Korean nuclear programme. He explained that they were all working towards the same thing, i.e. to prevent nuclear weapons spreading to the Korean peninsula.

According to the assistant secretary of state, it is currently hard to tell when or whether multilateral negotiations would be resumed. Kelly stressed that all the parties had to wait patiently and talks had to be held to find a diplomatic solution to the Korean problem.

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