There is no sign of a breakthrough on the fifth day of talks on North Korea’s nuclear programme but observers say the fact that they are taking place at all represents progress. China is hosting the negotiations involving six nations. US delegate Christopher Hill said: “We will have a lot of discussion about text to see if we can come to some agreement among the six, but I want to let you know it’s going to take a while, this is not going to be finished today or even tomorrow. The main protagonists, Washington and Pyongyang, appear as entrenched as ever. The North Koreans want security guarantees and aid. But Washington, which believes the communist country is trying to produce atomic bombs, is insisting that the nuclear programme be dismantled first.