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US, North Korea Hold Talks in Singapore

The top U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill has met with his North Korean counterpart in Singapore to end an impasse over talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear program. VOA's Nancy-Amelia Collins in Jakarta has more.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill says a meeting in Singapore with North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan went well and he hoped to make further announcements soon.

South Korean media reported earlier Kim saying there had been a "considerable narrowing of differences of views."

Hill told journalists shortly before the meeting started at the U.S. embassy in Singapore he did not expect the talks to reach an agreement, but warned time is running out.

"We are not looking for an agreement," Hill said. "I think we are looking to have a consultation on some of the issues that have kept us apart for several months. Certainly I will be discussing the fact that we are kind of running out of time."

The talks have stalled since late last year, after North Korea failed to declare a full inventory of its nuclear activities and facilities as called for under a landmark deal struck in six-party talks with the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and the two Koreas in February 2007.

Pyongyang says it provided the list in November, but the United States says it was incomplete.

The United States also wants North Korea to clear up allegations it has a secret uranium-enrichment program.

North Korea began disabling its main nuclear facilities last year in exchange for aid and diplomatic concessions under the six-party talks framework.

Hill will travel Wednesday to Beijing to meet with the heads of delegations from Japan, China, South Korea and brief the Russian ambassador to China.