Pyongyang agrees to talks

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Exactly 47 years after the beginning of the Korean War, North Korea yesterday agreed to multilateral talks on bringing about lasting peace involving North and South Korea, as well as their wartime allies, China and the United States.

"Pyongyang has accepted a suggestion that senior officials meet around early August to set an agenda and other details for the peace talks," said one South Korean official in Seoul.

Efforts to lure North Korea to the negotiating table have been going on since April last year, when the four-way talks were first proposed by Bill Clinton and the South Korean president, Kim Young Sam.

Richard Lloyd Parry - Tokyo