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U.S., N.Korea End Nuke Talks in Singapore

Posted April. 09, 2008 07:06,   


Top U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill and North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Kwan ended talks in Singapore Tuesday on the deadlock over Pyongyang’s failure to disclose its nuclear program.

"We are not looking for an agreement,” Hill said. “I think we are looking to have a consultation on some of the issues that have kept us apart for several months and certainly I will be discussing the fact that we are kind of running out of time."

North Korea had to fully disclose its nuclear program by the end of last year under a six-party agreement. Pyongyang, however, has dragged its feet for more than three months because of two sticking points: its uranium enrichment program and nuclear cooperation with Syria.

Media reports suggest the North has agreed to report plutonium-related matters to China, the chair nation of the six-way nuclear talks. Sensitive issues such as the uranium enrichment program and nuclear cooperation will come through a confidential declaration shared by Washington and Pyongyang only.

Hill will fly to Beijing Wednesday morning to brief the top nuclear negotiators of South Korea, Japan and China on the results of his talks with Kim.

In Seoul, the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry announced that the two Koreas and China will hold a second-phase meeting of a tripartite consultation on economic and energy assistance for the North on Thursday.