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“We resolved the administrative issues we were concerned with,” Mr. King told reporters at Beijing’s main airport before boarding a flight for Washington. He later said: “We’re still working on the details.”

The talks follow a deal announced last week in which the U.S. offered 240,000 tons of food aid in return for a North Korean freeze on long-range missile and nuclear tests and for halting a uranium enrichment program that would be monitored by U.N. inspectors.

That agreement is the most substantive sign of warming U.S.-North Korean ties after three years of tensions during which Pyongyang exploded a nuclear device and engaged in armed provocations against South Korea.


Taiwanese protest U.S. beef import plan

TAIPEI | Thousands of Taiwanese farmers staged a raucous protest Thursday against a government plan to allow the import of U.S. beef containing a growth drug, challenging the island’s president to “say no” to Washington.

The protest erupted outside Taiwan’s ornate legislative building as newly re-elected President Ma Ying-jeou seeks to strengthen ties with the U.S. by resolving the long-standing beef dispute.

The beef issue has stalled trade talks crucial to maintaining the island’s competitive edge in global trade.

Protesters later marched to the Agriculture Council - Taiwan’s Ministry of Agriculture - and pelted police with pig excrement and rotten eggs. Shield-wielding officers prevented them from entering the building after they broke through an outer security barrier.

The Cabinet announced this week that it plans to lift a ban on U.S. beef containing minimal traces of ractopamine, a feed additive for meat leaning.

The government sought to appease opponents by promising to ensure that vendors properly label their meat products. The plan needs legislative approval.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports