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    STANDING CONSULTING BODY TO DEAL WITH NORTH KOREAN NUKE PROGRAM: RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS

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    MOSCOW, February 19, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Six countries are negotiating in Beijing on what to do about a crisis round the North Korean nuclear program. The negotiators may eventually establish a permanent consultative body to deal with the matter, says Alexander Losyukov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Russian delegation leader at the talks.

    The idea envisages an ad hoc team, or several, for unbroken work in between basic negotiation rounds, with high-level experts on such teams. That was what the Foreign Ministry had in mind as it recently announced that Russia could be expected to appoint a special envoy for North Korean affairs, Mr Losyukov said to Novosti.

    An envoy can devote all his time and stamina to the matter-something a deputy minister cannot do, he explained.

    The negotiators understand each other, where prospects for a consultative body are concerned. The cause will make spectacular progress if such a body is set up, the diplomat is sure.

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