INTERNATIONAL

Beijing meet discusses draft

Pallavi Aiyar

Beijing: The ongoing six-party talks in Beijing saw a day of intense negotiations on Saturday as envoys from all sides tried to come to an agreement based around a draft proposal circulated by China on Thursday night. U.S. envoy Christopher Hill said on Saturday that one or two sticking points remained but that he was "hopeful" progress could be made. The draft agreement under discussion outlines the first steps towards implementing the September 2005 joint statement according to which North Korea agreed to disarm in return for aid and security guarantees.

Yonhap news agency has reported that the draft entails the granting of unspecified energy aid to the DPRK on condition that Pyongyang shut down its main nuclear facilities within two months.