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N. Korea wants rice shipment from South
SEOUL, May 31 (UPI) -- North Korea's renewed calls for a quick shipment of rice aid from South Korea may be stalling inter-Korean reconciliation talks.

At high-level talks in Seoul Thursday, the North's negotiators protested at Seoul's decision to suspend rice supplies to North Korea until Pyongyang carries through with its nuclear obligations, linking the economic aid to progress in the nuclear issue.

The South has promised to provide 400,000 tons of rice aid to the North, with delivery originally set to begin in May.

The North's chief delegate Kwon Ho Ung called for the South to implement the aid agreement, according to Ko Gyoung-bin, the spokesman for the South's delegation.

But he told reporters, "It is too early to say the rice issue would be a stumbling block to the talks."

The two sides have yet to exchange drafts of a joint statement to be issued at the end of the four-day talks Friday.

The ministerial talks are the highest-level dialogue channel to coordinate cross-border reconciliation and cooperation since the 2000 summit between the two Koreas. This week's talks are the 21st round.
MGR Archive 1.6.2007
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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