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UPDATED: 14:42, February 10, 2007
Envoys cracking hard nuts on third day of six-party talks
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Envoys to the six-party talks would be cracking the hard nuts for the first steps toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula as the current negotiations entered the third day on Saturday.

The envoys on Friday discussed a draft document aiming for a possible agreement, but remain divided over some specifics for the initial steps to implement a 2005 statement.

"The talks will enter a difficult stage today," said Japanese negotiator Kenichiro Sasae on Saturday, adding that China would work out a revised version of the draft based on Friday's consultations and the parties will have further discussions.

"Although all parties have the desire to reach an agreement, we have to make greater efforts," Sasae told reporters when he was leaving his hotel.

Reports said the draft agreement proposed stopping within two months work at nuclear sites in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), including the Yongbyon reactor, and supplying Pyongyang with alternative energy sources.

After a 48-day recess, the negotiators gathered again in Beijing since Thursday, with a focus on exploring the first steps to implement the 2005statement.

Under the joint statement reached in September 2005, the DPRK agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for economic aid and security guarantees.

Russian envoy Alexander Losyukov hinted Friday night that the talks might end before Monday.

Source: Xinhua

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