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US nuclear envoy leaves Beijing after extra day of NKorea talks

US nuclear envoy leaves Beijing after extra day of NKorea talks

A top U.S. diplomat left Beijing on Thursday after spending an extra day in the Chinese capital to flesh out ideas for jump-starting the stalled process of dismantling North Korea's nuclear programs.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was wrapping up a three-nation Asian tour, had told Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill to stay behind for additional talks on topics that she and Chinese President Hu Jintao had discussed at length.
Hill left Beijing on Thursday morning without giving any details about his discussions, U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Susan Stevenson said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Hill met with his counterpart, Wu Dawei. They talked about problems in the negotiations and how to "create favorable conditions for the talks to enter into the next stage," spokesman Liu Jianchao said.
Rice had said all six parties involved _ the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and North and South Korea _ were looking at how to better "synchronize" the process.
Under a year-old agreement, North Korea agreed to shut down, disable and dismantle its main nuclear facility and provide a complete accounting of all of its atomic activities, including its transfer of technology and know-how to other countries.
In return, Pyongyang's negotiating partners would provide it with fuel oil, remove sanctions, normalize relations and sign a peace deal to replace the armistice that ended the Korean war.
The process has been stuck in the second phase, when the North is supposed to disable its Yongbyon facility and provide the declaration. The United States says Pyongyang has not yet produced a full and accurate declaration.
North Korea says it has, complains that it has not received promised shipments of oil, and has slowed the disabling of Yongbyon to protest, according to some accounts. Others say the slowdown is technical in nature.
Hill was headed to Thailand and then possibly Vietnam, Stevenson said. She did not know details of his itinerary, but ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was returning to Bangkok on Thursday after 17 months in exile.
Hill _ one of Washington's top diplomats in Asia _ has also been involved in pressuring neighboring Myanmar to make democratic reforms.


Updated : 2021-03-08 00:30 GMT+08:00