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    N. Korea says ready to discuss denuclearization of Korean Peninsula

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    Pyongyang is ready to discuss with foreign mediators the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula in bilateral and multilateral formats, the official N. Korean news agency KCNA said on Sunday.

    MOSCOW, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - Pyongyang is ready to discuss with foreign mediators the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula in bilateral and multilateral formats, the official N. Korean news agency KCNA said on Monday.

    The announcement came during a meeting between the North Korean officials and a Chinese delegation, led by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, which arrived in Pyongyang early on Sunday.

    China is one of the countries - along with Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States - trying to persuade Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program through six-party talks.

    According to KCNA, the meeting featured "an open exchange of opinions on a wide range of international and regional issues of mutual interest."

    Meanwhile, North Korea again blamed the United States for the existence of the nuclear problem in the region and said that the North's denuclearization "was directly linked with the denuclearization of the whole Korean Peninsula and the rest of the world."

    N. Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Pak Kil Yon told the UN General Assembly on September 29 that in order to "denuclearize the Korean Peninsula" the U.S. must "discard the old concept of confrontation and show the 'change' in practice."

    The six-nation talks were launched in 2003 after Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

    The reclusive communist regime quit the talks and announced the restart of its nuclear program after the UN Security Council condemned its April 5 long-range missile launch. The Security Council imposed tougher sanctions on the North after it conducted its second nuclear test in May.

     

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