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South, North Korean Delegations Meet in Beijing

Delegation members of South and North Korea met in Beijing Sunday morning for the upcoming six-party nuclear talks, according to a South Korean diplomat in Beijing.


The meeting, involving the two delegations' heads and some members, started at 11:00 AM and lasted for about 100 minutes, according to the diplomat with the South Korean embassy in Beijing, who declined to be named and to give more details.


It's the first meeting of the two delegations at the eve of the international nuclear talks.


South and North Korean delegations arrived here respectively on Friday and Saturday. The US and Japanese delegations are expected to arrive later Sunday while the Russian delegation expected Monday morning.


Upon the arrival of all the five delegations, the Chinese side will host a banquet in honor of them Monday evening at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, the venue for the previous three rounds of six-party talks.


The South Korean delegation is headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Song Min-soon, and chief of the North Korean delegation is Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan.


The new round of the talks, which involves China, the US, Russia, Japan, North and South Korea will begin at 9:00 AM Tuesday at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.


The fourth round of six-party talks, which was originally scheduled to be held last September, has been postponed due to various reasons.


The resumption of the talks has rekindled hope for a breakthrough to the nuclear dismantlement deadlock, local observers said.


The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue broke out in the 1990s. From 2003 to 2004, the six countries held three rounds of talks in Beijing, but no substantial progress was made. 


(Xinhua News Agency July 24, 2005)

North Korean Delegation Arrives in Beijing
Six-Party Talks to Resume July 26
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