U.S., N. Korea agree to pursue further talks

/ Source: The Associated Press

North Korea said Tuesday it has agreed with the United States to continue working to resolve a stalemate in international nuclear negotiations over the North's promise to fully declare its nuclear weapons programs.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said the two sides held "specific discussions on differences in opinions" during one-on-one meetings last week in Switzerland over a disarmament-for-aid agreement reached last year.

The two countries agreed to "sit face-to-face and continue discussions" to find a solution to the impasse which is holding up the nuclear deal, KCNA said in a three-sentence dispatch, the first time it has mentioned the Geneva talks.

The report gave no details of what was discussed or when the two sides would meet again.

Progress made, U.S. official reports
U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill has said he made progress in the talks with his North Korean counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, but stopped short of announcing any agreement.

The nuclear deal stalled after Washington accused North Korea of failing to fully account for all its nuclear programs as it had pledged to do by the end of last year.

North Korea says it gave the United States a list of its nuclear programs in November, but Washington says it never received a "complete and correct" list.

The key sticking points are believed to be whether North Korea had a clandestine uranium enrichment program and whether it transferred nuclear technology to Syria.

The impasse has led North Korea to slow the disabling of its nuclear facilities.