S Korean FM: Immediate resumption of six-party talks unlikely

14:27, February 08, 2010      

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South Korean top diplomat said Monday prospects of resuming the stalled six-party talks on nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula are unclear, backing off from his earlier predictions that the talks might resume around the Lunar New Year, local media reported.

Whether or when the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would return to the negotiations is still unclear, Seoul's foreign minister Yu Myung-hwan told a meeting with ministry officials earlier Monday.

"The North is taking an active position when seeking its practical interests, but it is showing contradictory attitudes by designating no-sail zones and firing artillery shells into waters near the (disputed sea border called) Northern Limit Line," Yu added, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Yu's remark, which hints at dimming odds for the immediate resumption of the nuclear talks involving the S.Korea, DPRK, China, the United States, Japan and Russia, is a reversal of his previous prediction that the stalled six-party talks might resume soon, possibly around mid-February.

The DPRK in January announced that it refuses to return to the negotiations table unless sanctions imposed on the country are lifted, putting a damper on budding expectations among other six- party nations for a possible resumption of the talks.

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