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North Korea ready to resume six-party talks

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Chinese soldiers guard the North Korean embassy in Beijing November 29, 2010. North Korea has announced it's prepared to resume six-party talks on nuclear disarmament. UPI/Stephen Shaver | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/5c453d6c7134c8f69c1cb1a538889277/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Chinese soldiers guard the North Korean embassy in Beijing November 29, 2010. North Korea has announced it's prepared to resume six-party talks on nuclear disarmament. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- North Korea is ready to resume the stalled six-nation talks on its nuclear disarmament without preconditions, its official news agency said Monday.

The six-nation talks among the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia have been stalled since December 2008 when the North withdrew to protest U.N. sanctions of its missile tests.

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The North remains unchanged in its determination to "resume the six-party talks without preconditions at an early date," a Foreign Ministry spokesman told the news agency KCNA, it was reported by Xinhua, the official news agency of China, which is a close ally of North Korea.

The announcement came after two days of talks at the United States' U.N. mission between North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae Gwan and U.S. Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, the first talks between the two countries in three years.

The purpose of the talks was to "explore the willingness of North Korea to take concrete and irreversible steps toward denuclearization," a U.S. State Department announcement said.

The invitation to the North Korean official to visit the United States came after nuclear negotiators of the two Koreas met at an Asian security conference in Bali, Indonesia.

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On Sunday, a South Korean official said the North Korea-U.S. talks were "an extension" of the inter-Korean meeting in Bali, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

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