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(LEAD) U.S. scientists leave Pyongyang after talks on academic cooperation

All Headlines 18:15 December 15, 2009

(ATTN: UPDATES with N.K. vice premier meeting with U.S. businessmen at bottom, English language report)

SEOUL, Dec. 15 (Yonhap) -- A group of American scientists wrapped up their five-day trip to North Korea aimed at fostering bilateral cooperation in science research, Pyongyang's media said Tuesday.

The six-member delegation from the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), led by Peter Agre, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, had traveled to Pyongyang on a mission to explore future opportunities for collaborative research activities in various fields.

The U.S. team "left here for home by air on Tuesday after discussing the matter of cooperation and exchange in the field of scientific research," the Korean Central News Agency said. It gave no further information.

Agre, director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and president of the AAAS, said earlier that his delegation would meet with scientists, university and science policy officials in the North. He also planned to give a lecture for North Korean officials and students at the Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang.

The visit coincided with a trip last week by U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy, Stephen Bosworth, who later said both sides reached a "common understanding" on the need to resume a multilateral form on ending the North's nuclear program.

Another U.S. delegation visiting North Korea, consisting of businessmen, met with the North's Vice Premier Ro Tu-chol on Tuesday, state media said in a one-sentence dispatch. The team from the Business Executives for National Security, a non-partisan Washington-based organization led by Charles Boyd, a retired U.S. Air Force four-star general, arrived in Pyongyang a day earlier.


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