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Clinton likely to visit Pyongyang in January to hold missile talks

Clinton likely to visit Pyongyang in January to hold missile talks

Posted December. 20, 2000 19:36,   


Before leaving office in January, U.S. President Bill Clinton is expected to visit Pyongyang to hold missile talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

A diplomatic source in Washington said Tuesday that Clinton would announce his trip to North Korea after necessary preparatory work is completed. He said part of the work involves winning the support of Republicans, who opposed the trip in a recent letter to Clinton.

The source said that North Korea policy coordinator Wendy Sherman is expected to visit North Korea soon to prepare for Clinton¡¯s visit.

If talks progress smoothly, Clinton would visit North Korea in early January, the source said.

Clinton held in-depth discussions on the visit with President-elect George W. Bush at the White House on Tuesday.

White House spokesman Jake Siewart said Bush gave a positive reaction to Clinton¡¯s proposed trip, saying the two had touched on diplomatic matters during their talks, including North Korean problems.

North Korea recently agreed with the U.S. to suspend the development, production and test launching of long-range missiles and the exporting of missiles to Iran and other countries, sources said.

In return, the North asked for U.S. help with satellite launches.

Clinton sent U.S. national security advisor Sandy Berger to meet with secretary of state-designate Colin Powell and national security advisor-designate Condoleezza Rice in order to brief them on progress in negotiations with North Korea and the need for his trip to Pyongyang.