Hope Seen at North Korean Nuclear Talks

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Diplomats are discussing initial steps that could lead to North Korea ending its nuclear programs.

Nuclear negotiators from the U.S., North and South Korea, China, Russia and Japan spent Friday discussing a draft agreement produced by China, where talks are being held.

Diplomats say the U.S. and North Korea's neighbors are pushing for North Korea to shut down its main nuclear reactor at Yongbyon and submit to international inspections.

"We've gone 18 months without anything, and so we have to pick up the pace," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill.

He said he wanted to see concrete action on North Korea's 2005 pledge to scrap its nuclear programs.

"I really think this is a tough first step, but if we can get this first step I think it will really help with the next step," he said.

Hill has said he hoped initial measures could be implemented in a couple of months. North Korea's negotiator Kim Gye-gwan said on the first day of talks, on Thursday, that his country was willing to take some initial measures, but he said it depended on whether the U.S. gave up its hostile attitude towards Pyongyang. The talks are expected to continue into the weekend.



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