RIA Novosti

North Korean nuclear talks difficult, but constructive - Russian diplomat

19:21 01/08/2005

Beijing, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - North Korean nuclear talks have encountered some difficulties, but have been constructive, a Russian diplomat said Monday.

Officials attending the six-party negotiations on North Korea's nuclear program still have quite a few stumbling blocks to overcome before they reach an agreement, but all parties seem set to continue working in this direction, the diplomat said.

He also said that despite their persistent disagreements and fierce debate, all the parties were now showing mutual respect. He praised the Chinese hosts for their "tactful and competent" moderating and their efforts to make the negotiations constructive.

The source said it was still hard to predict whether or not the talks would culminate in the signing of an agreement, but assured that the sides would continue working toward it tomorrow.

The fourth round of talks on North Korea's nuclear program opened in the Chinese capital on July 26, with officials from Russia, the United States, Japan, China, North Korea, and South Korea in attendance.

Alexander Alexeyev, head of the Russian delegation, said earlier that whether the new round of negotiations would yield any tangible results depended in no small measure on the outcome of bilateral consultations between North Korea and the United States. The U.S. and the North Korean delegations have by now held at least six consultation sessions as part of the current talks, trying to find a mutually acceptable way to bring about a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

© RIA Novosti