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North Korea nuclear talks to resume

  • Story Highlights
  • Six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program resume Thursday in Beijing
  • Issues to include appraisal of declaration, establishment of verification mechanism
  • North Korea declared details of its nuclear program last month
  • N. Korea destroyed a water cooling tower June 27 where they extracted plutonium
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SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- Six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program will resume this week in Beijing, South Korea's chief nuclear envoy said Tuesday, according to the Yonhap news agency.

"Important issues will be discussed," said envoy Kim Sook, "including the appraisal of the declaration and the establishment of a verification mechanism."

North Korea declared details of its nuclear program last month.

China, which will host the talks after a nine-month hiatus, has yet to announce any details, but Kim said they will begin again on Thursday.

In addition to the Koreas and China, the talks also include Japan, Russia and the United States.

Kim told reporters about the upcoming sessions as he was heading to Beijing for preliminary meetings with his counterparts from other participating nations, Yonhap reported.

North Korea destroyed a water cooling tower on June 27 at a facility where officials now acknowledge they extracted plutonium to build nuclear weapons.

The destruction of the highly visible symbol of North Korea's long-secret nuclear program came just a day after the country released details of its program.

For months, North Korea has been dismantling other parts of the facility under the watchful eyes of representatives of the five other nations, including the United States, that have been involved in the six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

On June 26, North Korean officials turned over to China a 60-page declaration, written in English, that details several rounds of plutonium production at the Yongbyon plant dating back to 1986.

In it, North Korea acknowledged producing roughly 40 kilograms of enriched plutonium -- enough for about seven nuclear bombs, according to the U.S. State Department.

In response, U.S. President George Bush said he would lift some U.S. sanctions against North Korea and remove the country from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism.

But he made clear that other sanctions remain in place on North Korea -- which has been on the list since its alleged involvement in the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner that killed 115 people.

Other nations are providing food and energy assistance to the secretive nation.

All About North KoreaInternational RelationsNuclear Proliferation

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