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S Korea Agrees to Provide 50,000 Tons of Heavy Oil to Pyongyang
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South Korea chief negotiator, Chun Yung-woo, said yesterday his country will provide 50,000 tons of heavy oil to North Korea as part of the initial steps to realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


Chun told a press conference in Beijing that the oil is part of an energy assistance package that will eventually see North Korea receive a million tons of oil in exchange for shutting its main nuclear reactor.


The delivery of the remaining 950,000 tons depends on future negotiations, said Chun.


The six parties held a four-hour working group meeting on economy and energy cooperation yesterday afternoon at the South Korean embassy in Beijing.


Five of the parties told the working group how they could provide assistance to North Korea, said Chun.


The North Korean delegates explained their country was badly in need of energy. The US said it was willing to provide within 60 days power generators that can be used in hospitals.


Chun said North Korea didn't respond to the US offer and it may not do so until the fresh round of talks begins on March 19.


The six parties have been holding three working group meetings since Thursday, discussing how to implement the initial steps of the September 19 joint statement.


Two other working groups, one on regional security, the other on denuclearization, are to meet in the coming days.


The working groups on North Korea-US relations and North Korea-Japan relations met in New York and Hanoi in early March.


The six-party talks involve negotiators from China, the US, Japan, Russia, North and South Korea and are aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.


(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2007)


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