US official: N. Korea talks could resume Dec. 18

A long-delayed round of international talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program is scheduled for later this month, a senior US official said. Talks are expected to reconvene December 18 in Beijing and continue for three to five days, the official said Saturday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because host China had not announced final plans. North Korea has stayed away from the six-nation talks for more than a year, but agreed in principle this fall to resume negotiations. US diplomats have been preparing for a new round, which would be aimed at implementing a moribund agreement by the North to renounce weapons and their development, but the date was uncertain.