Nuclear talks with US made progress: North Korea

North Korea said Thursday its talks with the United States this week on nuclear disarmament made progress and the two sides would hold further meetings.

The talks "helped deepen each other's understanding and made a series of progress", a foreign ministry spokesman told Pyongyang's official news agency.

"Both sides decided to further... contacts and talks to discuss and solve the pending issues in the light of building confidence."

However the North reiterated that full six-nation nuclear negotiations should restart without preconditions, a stance opposed by Washington and its allies.

US and North Korean negotiators met Monday and Tuesday in Geneva for talks about ways to revive the stalled six-nation forum.

US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said earlier Thursday that some progress was made but there was no breakthrough.

"There is a substantial amount of work that needs to be done. No decisions have been taken about next steps," Campbell told reporters during a stopover in Seoul.

The North formally quit the six-party nuclear talks in April 2009, a month before staging its second atomic weapons test.

It has since repeatedly said it wants to come back without preconditions to the negotiations, which group the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan.

Washington and its allies say Pyongyang must first take steps to show its sincerity, such as shutting down a uranium enrichment plant that could be converted to make nuclear weapons.


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