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N Korea: Agreement Reached with US at Berlin Talks
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A Foreign Ministry spokesman of North Korea said Friday that the talks between North Korea and the United States were conducted "in a positive and sincere atmosphere."

"A certain agreement was reached there," the spokesman was quoted by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying.

"We paid attention to the direct dialogue held by North Korea and the US in a bid to settle knotty problems in resolving the nuclear issue," he added.

Negotiators from the United States and North K met in Berlin on Jan. 16-18 to discuss issues concerning the resumption of the six-party talks.

US chief negotiator Christopher Hill said his two-day meeting with his North Korea counterpart Kim Kye-gwan, was "useful." It was the first time that the two sides met outside Beijing over the issue.

"We hope we can get (talks) going in January," said Hill, who is also the assistant US secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

The six-party talks, involving the United States, the North Korea, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan, are aimed at persuading Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programs.

Under pressure, North Korea returned to the stalled talks in December. However, the talks failed to make progress.

Later this week, Hill will visit South Korea, China and Japan who are key partners in the talks, to discuss how to make progress in the next round of six-party negotiations.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, said on Thursday that the talks between Washington and Pyongyang will help establish a "positive atmosphere" to solve the crisis.

(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2007)

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