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Six-nation talks on North Korea nuclear program may resume soon

BEIJING, November 22 (RIA Novosti) - Participants in six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program may soon announce the next round of negotiations, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman told a press conference on Thursday.

"All parties in the negotiations," said Liu Jianchao, were "positively inclined" towards the idea.

While a date has yet to be set for the talks, the spokesman said that China intended to discuss the issue with the other parties in the next few days.

The six-nation talks involve envoys from the United States, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and North Korea, and are focused on the eventual denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

In a joint statement published on October 3 following the sixth round of negotiations, North Korea agreed to decommission its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, including a 5 MW nuclear reactor, a radiochemical lab and a nuclear fuel processing plant, by December 31.

North Korea, which tested a nuclear bomb in October 2006, closed down its main nuclear reactor in July under the February six-party deal.

In return for its cooperation, North Korea is to receive aid equivalent to one million tons of heavy fuel oil, and the U.S. has promised it will take steps to remove the country from its blacklist of countries suspected of aiding terrorism.

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