S. Korea: Progress needed soon on North nuke issue

Progress needs to be made quickly on breaking a deadlock in multilateral talks to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program, South Korea's foreign minister said Friday. Foreign Minister Song Min-soon said he agreed in a meeting with his Chinese and Japanese counterparts on the sidelines of a summit here that the stalled talks need to be resumed soon and progress must be made. "Talks need to be held at an early date, and we agreed to cooperate to ensure that they produce a productive result," he said. The financial dispute was the main stumbling block in last month's round of talks, which ended with no agreements and no date set for a new round. The North insisted Washington lift financial restrictions first before disarmament discussions begin in earnest.