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US nuclear envoy visits Beijing but no meeting with North Korean officials

US nuclear envoy visits Beijing but no meeting with North Korean officials

The U.S. envoy to North Korean nuclear talks returned Saturday to Beijing amid efforts to re-energize the stalled process, but U.S. officials said he would not be meeting with North Korean diplomats.
Negotiators are trying to resolve a dispute over an agreement under which the North promised to dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for energy aid. The North says the aid is late in coming, while Washington says Pyongyang is failing to provide a promised detailed declaration of the extent of its effort.
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill was due to meet his Chinese counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Daiwei, during the one-day visit, according to U.S. Embassy spokespeople, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity.
A U.S. State Department official said earlier that Hill might meet with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Kye Gwan, but the U.S. Embassy said Saturday there were no meetings scheduled with North Korean officials.
The talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear efforts involve the two Koreas, the United States, host China, Russia and Japan.
Hill met with Chinese officials earlier this week during a visit to the Chinese capital by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said the six governments were looking at how to better "synchronize" the disarmament process.
North Korean officials told two American researchers who visited the North last month that they slowed the removal of fuel rods from their main reactor at Yongbyon due to a slowdown in deliveries of energy aid.
The North also wants to be removed from U.S. terrorism and sanctions blacklists before it will provide a complete nuclear declaration, said Siegfried Hecker, a Stanford University physicist, and Joel Wit, a former State Department expert on the North.
Officials said the North has received only 200,000 of the promised 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil and little of the energy-related equipment that China and South Korea were to provide, according to Hecker.


Updated : 2021-07-30 22:05 GMT+08:00