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US Envoy in China to Discuss Progress on North Korea's Nuclear Program


The chief U.S. negotiator on North Korea's nuclear program is in the Chinese capital to discuss North Korea's offer to allow U.N. inspectors into the country.

Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill will meet his Chinese counterpart in Beijing Monday before traveling to South Korea. The countries are working with Russia and Japan to convince North Korea to fulfill its pledge to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

The long, drawn-out process got a boost Saturday, when North Korea said it had invited inspectors from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency into the country.

Pyongyang made the offer after a banking dispute with the United States was settled.

South Korean officials said Monday the country is preparing to send shipments of oil to the North once it begins shutting down its main nuclear reactor.

South Korea, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia have promised North Korea diplomatic incentives and fuel aid in exchange for its nuclear disarmament.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.