07/20/2007, 00.00
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No agreement on North Korea’s nuclear programme

Six-nation talks fail to deliver agreement on deadline. New meeting set for September to iron out “technical details.” Washington and Pyongyang still playing tough.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Talks in Beijing aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear programme have ended without agreement. Officials from the two Koreas, the US, China, Japan and Russia have failed to set a deadline for the country to disable its nuclear facilities.

Envoys from the six countries involved in the talks will meet again in September to hammer out the “technical details” to halt North Korea’s nuclear programme for good.

This week the Pyongyang fulfilled its pledge to shut its main reactor, Yongbyon, and has begun to receive the 50,000 tonnes of fuel oil it was promised in return.

A total of one million tonnes of energy aid has been promised to North Korea if it fulfils the second phase by disabling its nuclear facilities and declaring its nuclear secrets.

A key stumbling block is the US allegation that North Korea still has a secret uranium enrichment programme. Pyongyang denies this.

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