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US Negotiator Reports Some Progress in N. Korean Nuclear Talks

  • Stephanie Ho

The chief U.S. negotiator in six-nation talks on the North Korean nuclear crisis says talks with his North Korean counterpart in Singapore were good and may yield progress. VOA's Stephanie Ho reports from Beijing.

Ambassador Chris Hill spoke to journalists in Beijing, after a day of meetings with his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye-gwan in Singapore.

"I would say these are good discussions, that I think allowed us to make some progress, as we try to get through what has turned out to be this difficult second phase," he said.

The main sticking point is disagreement over a detailed declaration of North Korea's nuclear programs, which it was to have provided before an end of 2007 deadline.

Pyongyang says it has already provided the declaration. Washington says it has not yet received what it calls a full and correct accounting.

Hill was optimistic about his talks with the representative from North Korea, which he referred to by its official initials, DPRK, for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"We are talking about a declaration that has several elements," said Hill. "The key ones will be the amount of plutonium that the DPRK declares. But we have been able to have very good discussions with some of the other key factors that has allowed us to go forward."

Hill said any agreements between Washington and Pyongyang also must be vetted by the other four nations in the six-party grouping on the North Korean nuclear issue: China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

Hill met separately in Beijing with his Chinese, South Korean and Japanese counterparts.

He said although he has nothing concrete to announce this trip, he hinted more information will be forthcoming in the near future, after he consults with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington.

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