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North Korean nuclear talks expected to deliver concrete results - Russian diplomat


BEIJING, July 25 (RIA Novosti) - The fourth round of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program will open in Beijing Tuesday, with high-ranking diplomats from Russia, North and South Korea, the United States, China, and Japan in attendance. Alexander Alexeyev, deputy Russian foreign minister and head of the Russian delegation, said all parties expect the talks to result in new accords. "All the parties, including Russia, have come to Beijing expecting concrete results," Alexeyev said, adding that "time has not been wasted" since the third round with intensive negotiations toward a fourth round.

Alexeyev said Russia has been advocating a package approach to the problem based on "common sense."

Russia has repeatedly declared its preparedness to take part in compensatory arrangements related to North Korea.

The six-party negotiations involving Russia, North and South Korea, the United States, China, and Japan began in August 2003. Three rounds of talks have been held to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear program.

The fourth round, initially scheduled for September 2004, was postponed when North Korean negotiators refused to take part, citing what they described as a hostile climate created by the U.S. Pyongyang also demanded that an inquiry be launched into South Korea's secret experiments with uranium and plutonium since 1982.

Officials in Pyongyang are pushing for the U.S. to sign a non-aggression pact and establish diplomatic relations with North Korea. In addition, North Korea is also demanding the resumption of fuel supply for its electrical power stations, which was suspended in late 2002, and joint legal guarantees with the negotiating parties for its security.

North Korea declared itself a nuclear power on February 12, 2005. There has been no clear evidence that it possesses nuclear weapons because the International Atomic Energy Agency has not been allowed to conduct inspections in North Korea and satellite data has been inconclusive.

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