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UN chief meets top North Korean diplomat
United Nations, Sept 28 (Agenceis):
Published on 28 Sep. 2009 11:23 PM IST
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UN chief Ban Ki-moon has met with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Park Gil Yon here and asked Pyongyang to resume six-party talks on dismantling its nuclear weapons program. A UN statement said Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, and Park yesterday discussed "matters of mutual interests and concerns, including UN-DPRK (North Korea) relations as well as the nuclear, humanitarian and human rights issues." Ban took note of signals from Pyongyang that it was now open to resume six-party talks with China, Japan, Russia, the United States and South Korea on its nuclear weapons program. "The Secretary General encouraged the DPRK to respond positively to the recent initiatives by the concerned parties," the statement said. US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, who is visiting Hanoi as part of a five-nation Asian tour, meanwhile said he hoped Washington's allies would continue working together on getting Pyongyang back to the bargaining table. He added that Washington wanted "a unified message to North Korea that we are open to dialogue if the North is prepared to return to the six-party talks and reaffirm its commitment to complete denuclearisation." In April, North Korea quit the six-party talks after the UN Security Council censured its long-range rocket test.

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