N. Korea Talks Stumble Over Rules for Probing Nukes

Pyongyang balks at demands over verification
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 10, 2008 2:46 PM CST
Envoys from the Russia, the US, North Korea, Japan, China and South Korea meet at the beginning of a round of six-party talks in Beijing, Dec. 8, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Talks to curb North Korea’s nuclear-weapons activities have stalled over rules for investigating its programs, Reuters reports. Five other countries have been negotiating with Pyongyang over verifying such activities after North Korea agreed to partially shut down a nuclear complex. “It’s been a very difficult day, indeed a very difficult week,” the US envoy says. “We have not achieved our goal.”

Pyongyang has rejected a plan to let inspectors take nuclear samples in the country. “North Korea is putting its own conditions on verification, because it hasn’t made the fundamental choice to abandon nuclear weapons,” said an expert from China, where the talks—which began in 2003 and include the US, South Korea, Japan, and Russia—are being held.