Korea: January 20, 2004


South Korean and Japanese diplomats will meet US officials in Washington, to discuss issues involving North Korea's nuclear weapons. South Korea described the atmosphere as ``maturing'' for a new round of six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons development and resolving the 16-month-old standoff. The United States, China, Russia, Japan and the two Koreas held their first meeting in August 2003 ended without much progress. 

North Korea will freeze its nuclear programs if the US removes it from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism and provides economic aid, but the United States wants North Korea to dismantle its nuclear programs first, before giving any concessions. North Korea admitted running a secret nuclear program in October 2002. - Adam Geibel


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