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US Negotiator: Washington, Beijing Mostly Agree on North Korea Nuclear Disarmament Process


The top U.S. negotiator in the North Korean talks says China and the United States are not far apart in the their view that Pyongyang must provide a full accounting of all of its nuclear activities. VOA's Stephanie Ho reports from Beijing.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill spoke in Beijing after meetings with Chinese officials.

He said Beijing agrees with Washington that Pyongyang has yet to provide a complete report of its nuclear activities.

"They [Beijing] are not suggesting they [Pyongyang] have submitted the declaration, because there is no declaration," he said.

In six-party talks last year, North Korea promised it would declare all of its nuclear-weapons programs and stockpiles by December 31.

North Korea said last week it had already provided the United States with a declaration, but Washington says Pyongyang did not give a complete accounting.

Hill said he derives some optimism in that North Korea has, in his words, "gotten a lot done" with respect to disabling its nuclear facilities.

But he repeated calls for Pyongyang to resolve the declaration issue quickly, in order to move to the next phase of the agreement, which is complete denuclearization.

He added that at this point, the United States is not pressing North Korea to immediately submit a declaration that he said could be "incorrect" and "incomplete."

"We chose to continue the discussion with the idea that when they do produce a declaration, it ought to be pretty close to being final," he added.

Hill arrived in China after visiting South Korea. He travels to Russia Friday.

The United States, North Korea, China, South Korea, Russia and Japan are the six countries negotiating the North Korean nuclear accord.

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