Li Mingfang  /  AP
Kenichiro Sasae, head of the Japanese delegation to the six-party talks, speaks Thursday to journalists in Beijing. North Korea said Thursday that it will not give up its nuclear weapons without receiving a nuclear reactor for generating power.
updated 9/16/2005 5:52:28 AM ET 2005-09-16T09:52:28

The chief U.S. envoy to talks on ending North Korea's atomic weapons program met Friday with his North Korean counterpart in an effort to break a stalemate, and said afterward that the negotiations are still "in business."

Meanwhile, host China presented a revised proposal saying North Korea has a right to nuclear energy technology, asking other delegations to respond by Saturday afternoon, Russia's envoy to the talks, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev, told reporters.

"It is a compromise wording which could satisfy both sides," Alexeyev said. "I keep my fingers crossed because still nothing is accepted."

Further details on the Chinese proposal were not immediately available.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said he had "good" discussions with the North's chief delegate, Kim Kye Gwan.

"At this point, I don't know where these will lead," Hill said after a lunch with the South Korean and Japanese negotiators. However, he added: "We are still in business."

Hill had said earlier Friday that the six-nation talks were at a standstill over the North's demands for a nuclear reactor in exchange for dismantling its weapons programs, and that he wasn't planning to meet the North Koreans.

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