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North Korea Can Not Veto US Delegates at Nuclear Talks, says Bush Spokesman - 2003-08-04

The White House says President Geroge Bush will choose the Americans who will take part in talks on North Korea's nuclear program. Pyongyang wants a top State Department official barred from the discussions.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan makes clear North Korea cannot dictate the members of the American delegation.

Undersecretary of State John Bolton angered Pyongyang last week when he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il a "tyrannical dictator." He also described life in North Korea as a "hellish nightmare."

North Korea says he will not be welcome at upcoming six-way talks on its nuclear program. But Mr. McClellan says the decision belongs with President Bush, and he will pick the delegation.

The White House spokesman says the details and timing of the talks are still being worked out. China has offered to host the discussions. Countries expected to take part include the United States, North Korea, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.