Accessibility links

US Nuclear Envoy Says Talks Possible in Next Few Days with North Korea


The top nuclear negotiators for North Korea and the United States may meet next week to try to end the impasse over stalled multinational talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program. VOA's Nancy-Amelia Collins has more from the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and chief nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill told reporters in Jakarta Friday he might meet with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Kye Gwan, in the coming days.

"I'm not in a position yet to confirm reports that you've all heard that we will be having meetings with my counterpart in the DPRK [Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea] except to say that we're obviously looking to try to wrap up the declaration very soon," he said. "We don't have a lot of time; we really need to move on to the next phase if we're going to really achieve our goals."

Hill, who was in Jakarta for a brief visit Friday, told reporters if he meets with Kim Kye Gwan, it will not take place until after his visit to East Timor on Sunday.

The Six Party Talks between North and South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia stalled last December when Washington accused North Korea of failing to keep to a deadline for declaring all of its nuclear programs.

Pyongyang was required to submit a full and accurate declaration of its nuclear programs and materials by the end of 2007.

North Korea maintains it has met its obligations under the terms of the six-party agreement.

The United States also wants Pyongyang to reveal any weapons-grade uranium enrichment programs, and whether it has shared nuclear technology with Syria.

Hill criticized North Korea for increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula recently by test firing missiles, ejecting South Koreans from a shared industrial zone, and threatening to attack the South after Seoul warned it would launch a pre-emptive strike in response to nuclear attack.

"We have made very clear that the comments that were made in some cases by anonymous spokesmen of the Korea central news agency, the so-called KCNA, that those comments were very, in many cases, very inappropriate, and very unhelpful to the situation," he said. "You know the DPRK needs to be reaching out to its neighbors and should not be engaged in that sort of comment."

Hill also told journalists he did not know if the recent harsh rhetoric against South Korea by North Korea would have any effect on the six-party talks.

XS
SM
MD
LG