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US Envoy in Beijing for North Korea Nuclear Talks


The United States' envoy to talks on disarming nuclear North Korea is in Beijing for consultations with his Chinese counterpart. As Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing, North Korea has threatened to go back on an agreement to give up its nuclear programs.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill arrived in Beijing Friday and met with South Korean and Japanese negotiators.

He said the three discussed the latest standoff with North Korea and would on Saturday meet separately for discussions with the Chinese side.

The hastily arranged meetings follow Pyongyang's announcement last week that it would restore its main nuclear reactor if Washington did not remove it from a list of "state sponsors of terrorism."

The U.S. has said North Korea must first agree to a procedure for verifying its agreed nuclear disarmament.

Hill said Pyongyang appeared upset about a draft plan presented in July. "We have put together a protocol that's based on some...international standards and certainly shouldn't have come as a surprise to anybody. And, I think there's a lot of support within the six-party process for...for getting this done," he said.

Hill said he had no plan to meet with North Korean officials while in Beijing, but that he was certainly willing to talk if they were.

The Russian envoy to the talks was not expected to take part in the weekend discussions.

Last year the U.S., Japan, China, Russia, and South Korea convinced North Korea to give up its nuclear materials in exchange for aid and diplomatic incentives.

Millions of dollars in aid has been given to North Korea and in return Pyongyang disabled its main nuclear reactor.

But, the "action for action" agreement has been slow to materialize as disagreements surfaced over North Korea's nuclear declaration and when Pyongyang would receive the incentives.

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