Japan demanded Thursday that North Korea freeze operations at its main nuclear reactor and accept international inspections as a first step toward disarmament.
"These initial steps must come within a reasonably short period of time," Japanese envoy Kenichiro Sasae said in his opening statement to the six-nation talks in Beijing, according to a statement released by his delegation.
Earlier Thursday, the North's negotiator Kim Kye Gwan said upon his arrival that Pyongyang was ready to discuss "first-stage measures" of its disarmament.
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