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    N. Korea to receive fuel and equipment for denuclearization

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    North Korea agreed at six-nation talks Tuesday to receive aid in equipment, in place of half of the fuel aid pledged to the country for disabling its nuclear reactor, Seoul's Yonhap agency said.

    BEIJING, October 30 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea agreed at six-nation talks Tuesday to receive aid in equipment, in place of half of the fuel aid pledged to the country for disabling its nuclear reactor, Seoul's Yonhap agency said.

    In a six-party deal sealed by South and North Korea, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan earlier this month, Pyongyang agreed to disable the plutonium-producing Yongbyon complex by the end of the year, in exchange for 950,000 metric tons of heavy fuel oil.

    The agency said that during the two days of six-party talks, Pyongyang agreed to receive 450,000 metric tons of heavy fuel oil, along with equipment needed to upgrade its thermal power facilities, equivalent to 500,000 metric tons of fuel oil.

    Only four countries have so far agreed to provide economic aid to North Korea as an incentive for denuclearization. Japan has refused to join the measures, due to an ongoing dispute with Pyongyang over abductions of Japanese nationals.

    Tokyo demands the return of its citizens abducted in the 1970s-80s. Pyongyang has acknowledged that it kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens, but says it subsequently sent five of them home, and the rest are dead.

    On Monday North Korea pledged to start the second phase of disabling its nuclear facilities from November 1 and to complete the process by the end of the year.

    Pyongyang has already received 50,000 metric tons of fuel oil from its wealthier southern neighbor for its thermal power plants as an incentive for disabling the Yongbyon reactor, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Pyongyang.

    The six-party negotiations on North Korea's disarmament have been held since August 2003. Five working groups have been set up this year, including for regional security, dismantling nuclear facilities and stabilizing North Korea's relations with the U.S. and Japan.

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