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North Korea talks resume soon

International talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programme

are highly likely to resume in the week starting December 18, South Korea's top

nuclear envoy said today.

Chun Yung-woo told The Associated Press that he expected the talks to resume

then, but that consultations were still under way and China would announce the

date soon.

North Korea has boycotted the talks since November last year, angered by US

financial restrictions imposed over Pyongyang's alleged involvement in money

laundering and counterfeiting of dollars.

The parties to the talks - the two Koreas, the US, host China, Russia and

Japan - have been trying to set a date for the fresh round of talks.

North Korea agreed to a resumption of negotiations after it tested a nuclear

bomb on October 9.

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