Beijing Despite three days of hard bargaining, North Korean nuclear disarmament talks remained stuck Saturday over the energy aid North Korea would receive in return for closing its main nuclear reactor, diplomats said.
Discord over the compensation cast a pall over what had been high hopes that the six-nation talks could produce swift agreement on the first steps toward eliminating North Korea's nuclear weapons and dismantling the nuclear facilities that produce its fissionable material.
As a result, diplomats from the six nations - North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Russia, China and the United States - made plans to return to the negotiating table at the Chinese government's secluded Diaoyutai guest compound here for additional sessions of negotiations today and perhaps into next week.
In October, while the talks languished, North Korea set off a nuclear test blast and declared itself a nuclear power.
The last round of talks ended Dec. 22 in stalemate after the senior North Korean negotiator, Kim Gye Gwan, said he could not formally discuss North Korea's nuclear program until resolution of a financial dispute over U.S. allegations that a Macau bank was being used to launder illicit North Korean funds.