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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 July, 2003, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
Peace deal proposed for N Korea
A senior United States congressman has unveiled a 10-point plan to help defuse the continuing nuclear standoff in North Korea.

Republican Representative Curt Weldon, who recently visited the country, asked Pyongyang to officially renounce its nuclear weapons programme, and said the US should enter a one-year non-aggression pact with the communist state.

His plan also calls for the North to rejoin the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, while asking the international community to negotiate a comprehensive economic development plan for the region.

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, right, walks with Chinese President Hu Jintao
The trip to China is Mr Roh's first since becoming S Korean president

Meanwhile, South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun has met his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao and other senior Chinese officials for talks thought to be centred on the nuclear crisis.

Both countries have pledged to push harder to restart dialogue over the country's suspected nuclear weapons development.

Mr Roh said on Tuesday that the talks so far had been "very successful" and "of very deep significance".

He said the two leaders had agreed to "promote peace and prosperity in North East Asia".

"President Hu Jintao and I agreed to make efforts for the early resumption of direct talks among concerned parties in the North Korean nuclear issue," Mr Roh said.

But he warned that stability on the Korean peninsula was crucial for the region's economic development.

Mr Roh is now on the second day of his Chinese tour - his first trip to the country since becoming South Korean leader earlier this year.

He is due to meet Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao later on Tuesday before heading to Shanghai on Wednesday.

The pace of diplomatic activity in the region is being stepped up as the rift between North Korea and the United States deepens.

China - seen by many as the key to a solution, due to its friendship with the government in Pyongyang - has recently sent envoys to both Washington and Moscow for talks on the issue.

The sense of urgency is compounded by concern in both Beijing and Seoul over American threats to apply economic pressure on North Korea.

They fear that the US could provoke the North to lash out militarily, according to the BBC correspondent in Seoul, Charles Scanlon.

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