Talks on North Korea to be continued in Beijing in summer 2004

The next round of the talks on North Korea will be held in Beijing in summer 2004, diplomatic sources told RIA Novosti.

The second round of the six-sided talks in Beijing on the North Korean nuclear problem ended in an agreement to continue the talks and to form a working group, the sources said.

The working group will be solving current technical issues and adjusting differences in the intervals between the main rounds.

Heads of the US, North Korean, Japanese, South Korean, Russian and Chinese delegations delivered short speeches at the closing ceremony of the second round in the official residence Diaoyutai.

The second round was open on February 25. The talks were expected to last for three days, however, they lasted a day longer due to the differences between Pyongyang and Washington.

North Korean, US, Russian, Chinese, South Korean and Japanese diplomats did not make a serious breakthrough in the solution of the Korean nuclear problem, however, they confirmed the importance of their dialogue and decided not to stop it.

The first round of the six-sided talks took place on August 27-29, 2003.

The current nuclear crisis hit the Korean Peninsula in autumn 2002, when George Bush condemned North Korea as a part of "the axis of evil" and previous conditions of freezing Pyongyang's nuclear program were not fulfilled.

The plans of construction of a new nuclear power plant in Kumho by an international consortium under the US aegis were frustrated. In this connection Pyongyang resumed its nuclear program, withdrew from the non-proliferation treaty and admitted its work on the creation of nuclear weapons.

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