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N. Korea and U.S. to talk on war remains next month: report

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea and the United States will resume talks next month on recovering the remains of American troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War, South Korean media reported on Friday.

The talks come amid a renewed push to revive negotiations with regional powers on disabling the secretive North's nuclear weapons programme.

A South Korean foreign ministry official said the two sides might meet in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur where they held talks before on the issue, Yonhap news agency reported.

"I learn that arrangements have been recently finalized between North Korea and the U.S. to resume their talks on excavating and repatriating remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War," the official was quoted as saying.

Joint recovery efforts of U.S. service members were halted in May 2005 over concerns about the uncertain environment created by the North's nuclear programme.

Nearly 8,000 U.S. service members are listed as missing in the war, with the remains of more than half estimated to be buried in the reclusive state.

The North has long sought to sign a peace treaty with Washington to formally end decades of enmity since the war, which ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty.

(Reporting by Jeremy Laurence, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

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