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US envoy: Nuke talks still 'in business'
Updated: 2005-09-16 17:03

BEIJING - The chief U.S. envoy to talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program met Friday with his North Korean counterpart in an effort to break a stalemate. Afterward he declared the negotiations still "in business."

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill leaves his hotel for a fourth day of talks on the North Korean nuclear issue, in Beijing Friday Sept 16, 2005. The six-party talks have stalled over North Korea's demands for a light water reactor. (AP
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill leaves his hotel for a fourth day of talks on the North Korean nuclear issue, in Beijing Friday Sept 16, 2005. [AP]
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said he had "good" discussions with the North's chief delegate, Kim Kye Gwan.

"At this point, I don't know where these will lead," Hill said after a lunch with the South Korean and Japanese negotiators. However, he added: "We are still in business."

Hill had said earlier Friday that the six-nation talks were at a standstill over the North's demands for a nuclear reactor in exchange for dismantling its weapons programs, and that he wasn't planning to meet the North Koreans.

The six delegations met briefly Friday, but results of that session were not immediately available.

The United States has urged China to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons without receiving a reactor. The North has already been offered incentives, including economic aid, security guarantees from Washington and free electricity from South Korea.

Hill said the Chinese have a responsibility to exercise their influence with North Korea.

"I hope that China will feel a certain responsibility to try to convince the DPRK that the deal is there on the table and it only awaits the decision of the DPRK to take that deal," Hill said Friday morning, referring to the North by the initials of its official name.

Beijing has called for the sides to seek compromise, saying all reasonable concerns of any country at the talks deserve to be considered. Japan, Russia and South Korea are also part of the nuclear negotiations.
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US envoy: Nuke talks still 'in business'


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