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Rice Might Visit North Korea

Posted February. 15, 2008 03:52,   


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reportedly neither admitted nor denied the rumor that she would visit North Korea.

According to America’s Radio Free Asia (RFA), Rice attended the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Feb. 13 (local time) and told reporters, “I plan to visit Asia at the end of this month to attend the inauguration ceremony of South Korea’s president.”

She added, “We are committed to ending North Korea’s nuclear program through six-party talks. When the communist regime fulfills its responsibility, we will do ours.”

Given that she neither admitted nor denied the plan, experts speculate that she is likely to visit North Korea. She had denied all previous rumors regarding the possibility of her visit to Pyongyang until now.

After attending Lee Myung-bak’s inauguration ceremony, Rice could go to see the concert of the New York Philharmonic in Pyongyang and meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on Feb.26, they say.

Many other former U.S. high-ranking officials including former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry will attend the concert, adding credibility to the forecast.

Meanwhile, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, Washington’s top envoy to the six-party talks, will visit East Asian countries including South Korea around Feb. 19. Japan’s newly appointed top nuclear envoy Akitaka Saiki, deputy director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs, also plans to visit South Korea on Feb. 15.