updated 6/26/2004 2:03:56 AM ET 2004-06-26T06:03:56

Envoys to six-nation talks on the North Korean nuclear dispute said Saturday they would hold a new round of talks by the end of September, and will have diplomats meet before then to discuss the “first steps for denuclearization” of the North.

The announcement came in a statement issued at the end of four days of talks in Beijing on Washington’s demand for the North to give up its nuclear weapons development.

The chief Chinese envoy, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi, said there is still a “serious lack of mutual trust” among governments in the talks, though he said the delegations were making progress toward narrowing their differences.

The talks involved the two Koreas, the United States, host China, Japan and Russia.

“The parties agreed in principle to hold the fourth round of the six-party talks in Beijing by the end of September, 2004,” said the two-page statement.

"The parties authorize the working group to convene at the earliest possible date to define the scope, duration and verification as well as corresponding measures for first steps for denuclearization and ... make recommendations to the fourth round of the talks.”

“Corresponding measures” is the term used by diplomats to refer to aid for the North in exchange for abandoning its nuclear program.

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