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N. Korea says it agreed to hold further talks with U.S.
By Kim Kwang-tae
SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Monday it has agreed to hold more talks with the United States as Pyongyang renewed its commitment to resuming the long-stalled talks on ending its nuclear weapons programs.

   The comments by a spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry came days after North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan met in New York with Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special envoy on North Korea.

   The unidentified spokesman said the two officials had an in-depth discussion on the issue of improving ties between North Korea and the United States and resuming the disarmament talks in a "sincere and constructive atmosphere."

   "Both sides recognized that the improvement of the bilateral relations and the peaceful negotiated settlement of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula conform with the interests of the two sides and agreed to further dialogue," the spokesman said in comments carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

   The spokesman did not give any further details on time frame for the next meeting between the two countries.

   The spokesman also said his country remains unchanged on its stance to quickly resume the six-nation nuclear talks without preconditions and to carry out an aid-for-disarmament deal on the principle of simultaneous action.

   North Korea has expressed its interest in returning to the talks it quit in 2009. The talks involve the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia.

   The comments came as Bosworth may travel to South Korea, China and Japan to explain the results of the U.S.-North Korea talks and discuss the next steps in holding dialogue with North Korea in the context of the six-party talks, a diplomatic source in Seoul said on the condition of anonymity.

  (END)
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