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US Rejects Direct Talks with N Korea
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The United States rejected on Monday the idea of holding direct talks with North Korea and insisted that the two can have talks within the framework of six-party talks.

"Within the context of the six-party talks, we are absolutely willing to talk to North Koreans," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said at a briefing.

"But the idea that you deal with North Korea in a strictly bilateral sense is one that's been tried and unfortunately has failed. And we are now in a position where North Korea, when it persists in bad behavior in the vein of launching missiles, conducting a nuclear test, it's not a US- North Korea issue," McCormack said.

"This is now an issue where you have the Security Council and the other five parties of the six-party talks united in putting pressure on North Korea to get them to change their behavior," McCormack said.

The six-party talks, which involve the United States, North Korea, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan, have been stalled since September last year when the last round of talks were held in Beijing.

The United States has urged North Korea to return to the six-party talks although it has conducted a nuclear test.

(Xinhua News Agency October 24, 2006)


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