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Hill to arrive today for North talks

Jan 08,2008
As the stalemate over North Korea’s declaration of its nuclear programs continues, Christopher Hill is scheduled to visit Seoul today for three days of meetings, a Foreign Ministry official said yesterday.
“Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Hill will visit from Jan. 8 to 10 and meet with chief envoy Chun Young-woo and other officials,” Cho Hee-yong, the ministry’s spokesman, said.
The visit by the top U.S. envoy to the six-party talks intended to get rid of North Korea’s nuclear weapons comes following a statement issued by North Korea’s foreign ministry last week. Pyongyang said it had fulfilled its declaration duties, but that other nations involved in the multilateral nuclear talks had failed to fulfill their promises. In addition, an official of President-elect Lee Myung-bak’s transition team said Hill has also asked to meet with Lee, and will do so on Thursday.
Apart from the nuclear issue, the free trade agreement between the two countries that still needs to be ratified may also be discussed. Hill will fly to Beijing afterward.
Sources have said Pyongyang has made a declaration of its programs, but its contents failed to meet Washington’s expectations. North Korea was asked to continue to narrow its differences with Washington before submitting its initial draft.


By Brian Lee Staff Reporter [africanu@joongang.co.kr]


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