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N. Korea Hesitant To Resume Talks

Wednesday, January 12, 2005; Page A18

BEIJING, Jan. 11 -- A U.S. congressman who traveled to North Korea for talks with senior leaders said Tuesday that the discussions were "serious and substantive" but that he was told the North was not ready to resume negotiations about dismantling its nuclear weapons program.

Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), briefing reporters after three days of meetings in Pyongyang, said the officials indicated they were "waiting to see the shape of the second Bush administration" before resuming six-nation talks that began in 2003.

Lantos said he told them that Bush's new foreign policy team was in place, that its approach to North Korea would not change and that Congress supported the approach. The North Koreans did not specify what would persuade them to resume the talks, he said.

-- Philip P. Pan

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