N. Korea, U.S. reach 'understanding'

Dec. 11, 2009 at 1:22 AM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- North Korea said Friday it had reached understanding with the United States on resuming the six-nation talks on its denuclearization.

A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman told the Korean Central News Agency his government has reached "a series of common understandings" during this week's visit by U.S. Special Representative Stephen Bosworth.

The spokesman said the two sides held lengthy talks on a wide range of issues, including a peace treaty, normalization of bilateral ties, economic and energy cooperation and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He told KCNA the talks helped the two sides "deepen mutual understanding" and find common ground and that they agreed to continue to cooperate to bridge differences.

Bosworth, who concluded his trip on Thursday, had gone to Pyongyang to persuade the Communist country to return to the six-party talks in the first such bilateral meeting between North Korea and the United States since President Barack Obama took office.

The talks among the United States, China, Russia, the two Koreans and Japan have stalled since Pyongyang pulled out following U.N. condemnation of the North's nuclear and missile tests earlier this year and the tightening of sanctions.

North Korea, which shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facilities in 2007, began reprocessing plutonium at the reactor there after quitting the talks.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said KCNA also quoted the North's spokesman as saying both sides agreed on the importance of implementing the 2005 joint statement calling for the North's nuclear disarmament in return for massive economic aid, normalization of ties with the United States and Japan, and a peace agreement replacing the armistice that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War.

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