North Korea Wants to Halt Weapons Testing

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North Korea says it's ready to stop nuclear missile tests, but only if international talks on its nuclear program resume.

Kim Jong Il made the announcement during a summit with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Wednesday. It was the first meeting of the Cold War allies in nearly a decade.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Kim Jong Il's offer to refrain from nuclear and missile tests was "a welcome first step," but not enough to restart six-party disarmament talks.

Medvedev spokeswoman Natalya Timakova was quoted by the ITAR-Tass news agency saying  Jong Il expressed readiness to return to the nuclear talks without preconditions.

"In the course of the talks, North Korea will be ready to resolve the question of imposing a moratorium on tests and production of nuclear missile weapons," Timakova said. 

Nuland added that North Korea's disclosure of a uranium enrichment facility last November "remains a matter of serious concern."

"We will not go back to six-party talks until North Koreans are prepared to meet all of the commitments that we've all laid out," Nuland said at a news conference in Washington.

It's widely believed that North Korea is trying to expand its nuclear weapons program.

Nuclear envoys from the Koreas met last month on the sidelines of a regional security summit for what were described as cordial talks.

The nuclear talks involving North Korea and the United States, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea have been stalled since December 2008.

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