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US envoy to return to North Korea next week

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작성자 AFP 작성일06-11-23 02:03 조회587회 댓글1건


WASHINGTON (AFP) - US envoy Christopher Hill will travel to China next week for consultations focused on resuming six-party talks over North Korea"s nuclear program, a State Department spokesman said.

Hill, assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs, just returned from China this week and was scheduled to depart again for Beijing on Sunday, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said.

"While he is back there, he will be continuing his consultations with the Chinese government about what we need to do to be able to launch the next round of the six party talks," Casey told reporters.

The six-nation forum -- which involves the two Koreas, China, the United States, Japan and Russia -- is designed to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

In Beijing this week, Hill expressed optimism the talks could resume in mid-December.

Although a North Korean diplomat said on Tuesday his country would not give up nuclear weapons, a US official played down the comments reported by South Korea"s Yonhap news agency.

"My understanding of the comment is that what was reported was truncated," said the official, who asked not to be named.

The North Korean diplomat, First Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok-Ju, had said his country would not give up nuclear weapons "without anything in return," the US official said, which was in keeping with the basis of the six-party talks.

"Chris (Hill) did not see in these comments anything that is disturbing or was an attempt to pull back from where they were," the official said.

The Yonhap agency quoted the North Korean diplomat as saying: "How can we abandon our nuclear weapons? Do you mean that we conducted a nuclear test to give them up?"

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The article highlights the ongoing diplomatic efforts to address the issue of North Korea's nuclear program through multilateral negotiations and emphasizes the importance of continued dialogue and cooperation among the parties involved


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