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US Envoy Supports 'Informal' Six-party Talks Idea, Rejects North Korean Sanctions Demand


Washington's chief diplomat on the North Korean situation is continuing his search in Asia for a united response to Pyongyang's recent missile launches. U.S. envoy Christopher Hill has expressed support for China's suggestion of an "informal" reunion of the six parties to the stalled North Korean nuclear talks, but has again flatly turned down a North Korean condition for resuming the talks.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill says Washington and Seoul are both willing to support a Chinese proposal for an "informal" version of six-nation talks on the North Korean nuclear issue.

Hill was speaking in Seoul, where he met Saturday with his South Korean counterpart at the six-party talks, Chun Young-woo. Hill repeated his call for a unified response to North Korea's actions.

"I think it's very important that all of us, all of the participants in the six-party process, that we speak in one voice and send a really clear message to the DPRK," he said.

Hill also repeated Washington's refusal to lift sanctions on a Macau-based bank that, the U.S. alleges, has helped North Korea launder money from counterfeiting and other illicit activities. Pyongyang says it will return to the talks if the sanctions are ended.