U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has arrived in Singapore to
meet with the foreign ministers of other nations involved in the
six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program.
among foreign ministers of North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia,
and the United States are scheduled for Wednesday. The ministers are
expected to discuss ways to verify North Korea's declaration of its
nuclear activities, submitted last month - six months past the
This will be the first time Secretary Rice
has seen her North Korean counterpart, Pak Ui-chun. Chinese Foreign
Minister Yang Jiechi has called the meeting very significant. But Rice
on Monday downplayed it, saying she would not call the meeting historic
or even consequential.
She has said she will make it clear
that North Korea must meet its obligations and answer all questions
about its nuclear program.
The meeting will be the highest-level
gathering of the six parties involved in the talks since they began in
2003. But the State Department says the meeting will not replace an
anticipated formal conference at the ministerial level.
talks held earlier this month, Pyongyang agreed to disable its main
plutonium-producing facilities by the end of October, and allow on-site
inspections to verify its declaration.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.