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S. Korea Urges U.S. To Push for Arms Talks

Sunday, November 7, 2004; Page A23

SEOUL, Nov 6 -- South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun telephoned President Bush to propose that solving the nuclear crisis involving North Korea be a priority for Bush's second term in office.

Bush agreed on the need to push forward with stalled six-party talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programs, the Blue House, South Korea's executive quarters, said in a statement.

"President Roh proposed making the North's nuclear problem a joint project to solve with close cooperation and to lay the groundwork for peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the world," it said.

"The two leaders agreed to strengthen efforts to hold the six-way talks as soon as possible," the statement added.

China, the United States, North and South Korea, Japan and Russia agreed in June to hold a fourth round of six-way talks in September involving senior diplomats to try to end the North's nuclear programs.

The discussions never took place, with Pyongyang appearing to stall while it waited for the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

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