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North Korea Nuclear Talks Continue to Focus on Small Details

Six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament are in their third day in Beijing, with the top U.S. envoy saying the parties have yet to agree on exactly what "disarmament" will mean.  Naomi Martig reports from VOA's Asia News Center in Hong Kong.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill says he does not expect negotiators to reach final agreement Saturday on exactly what North Korea will have to do to disable its nuclear facilities.

Pyongyang has agreed in principle to disclose and disable all its nuclear programs.  Hill says negotiators are working on the fine details of what those terms mean.  In the meantime, he says, talks continue on what North Korea will receive in return.

"Again I think we are going to be discussing a lot of details, and today the details will probably be more about fuel assistance," he said.

In return for disarming, Pyongyang is supposed to receive fuel, food, and diplomatic concessions.  On Friday President Bush authorized $25 million in energy aid for North Korea, which can buy up to 50 thousand tons of heavy fuel oil. 

The talks also include host China, as well as South Korea, Japan and Russia.

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