Source Pravda.Ru

Rice urges better cooperation among Asian trading partners facing terrorism

Wednesday that richer nations must help poorer ones in that fight.

"In the past year we have seen that the threat of global terrorism is still very real, with vicious new attacks in Indonesia, and Russia and the Philippines," Rice told an opening session of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

"We must build on our new partnership to deny criminals and terrorists access to deadly conventional weapons," she said.

While in South Korea, Rice was meeting several partners in six-way talks to end North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

South Korea's foreign minister said Tuesday that talks with the North would resume in January. A disappointing round of talks ended last week without new progress this week toward agreeing on details of how to carry out North Korea's pledge in September to abandon nuclear development in exchange for aid and a security guarantee.

The North is insisting on receiving aid in stages as it dismantles its nuclear programs, while Washington refuses to reward Pyongyang until that goal is achieved.

North Korea on Saturday stood by its demand for aid in exchange for shutting down a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor, saying it won't act until Washington offers concessions.

"As we have to follow the 'action for action' principle, we will act if action is made," the North's envoy to six-nation disarmament talks, said Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan. "We will never move first."

Kim didn't say what concessions the North wanted.

Kim said participants in the talks _ which also include China, South Korea, Japan and Russia _ have taken the first step toward fulfilling that September declaration.

The U.S. envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, urged the North on Friday to shut down the reactor at Yongbyon but said he had rejected Kim's demand for aid in exchange, AP reported. V.A.