China waiting for response to six-nation meeting proposal

BEIJING, November 25 (RIA Novosti) - China is still waiting to receive a response to its proposal to hold talks on December 8 from nations involved in the six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

"We have indeed proposed reopening the talks on December 8, and we are currently waiting for participants to answer," the spokesman said.

The duration of the next round has not been determined and "will depend on the course of consultations," the spokesman added.

The six-nations, which involve China, Russia, the United States, Japan and the two Koreas, are seeking an agreement on verification measures for North Korea's denuclearization, a key demand of the U.S.

North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear program in 2005 in exchange for aid and the lifting of international sanctions imposed on the Communist state, but talks stalled after Pyongyang tested a nuclear bomb in October 2006.

North Korea started dismantling its nuclear facilities last year, a process subsequently suspended for several months after Washington stalled its promise to remove North Korea from a blacklist of countries sponsoring terrorism and demanded verification that the country had stopped its nuclear program.

Washington and Pyongyang recently reached a tentative agreement on a verification program, which now requires the approval of the six parties. Following the agreement the U.S. removed the country in October from its terrorist blacklist.

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