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US Negotiator to Visit Japan Prior to Six-party Talks
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The top US negotiator on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue will visit Japan on Saturday to talk with his Japanese counterpart before the six-party talks resume on Monday in Beijing, Kyodo News reported late on Friday.


Christopher Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, will meet with Japanese Foreign Ministry Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director General, Kenichiro Sasae, who is likely to ask for support from the US on the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said.


Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki reiterated earlier in the day that Japan will raise the abduction issue at the six-party talks.


Launched in 2003, the six-party talks are aimed at finding a solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. However, The six-party talks have remained stalled since the DPRK walked out of the negotiations with the United States, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia more than a year ago.


In late November, chief negotiators of the DPRK, the United States, South Korea and Japan convened in Beijing and laid the groundwork for the resumption of the talks.


(Xinhua News Agency December 16, 2006)


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