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US, DPRK Nuclear Envoys to Meet in Beijing
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US top negotiator Christopher Hill said on Monday that the United States hopes to make some progress on the denuclearization working group meeting in the six-party talks.

"It's important to have successful working group meetings," Hill told reporters at the doorway of his hotel. He flew to the Chinese capital Monday afternoon to meet with his counterpart Kim Kye-Gwan of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Kim, also vice foreign minister of the DPRK, arrived in Beijing on Saturday.

Hill said he would have some bilateral consultations with parties concerned ahead of the denuclearization working group meeting starting Thursday in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province. He is scheduled to meet with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei in Beijing on Tuesday.

According to Hill, the working group meeting will address technical issues involved in the disablement and declaration of DPRK's nuclear programs.

"We don't have enough time in a two-day six-party meeting... so we really need to be sure these issues are pretty well teed up before that," Hill said.

He hopes the declaration would come fairly early, followed by the disablement plan.

With regard to the working group of normalization of U.S.-DPRK relations, Hill said that is "more comprehensive" meeting that will address issues related to the development of bilateral relations, and he had to exchange views with the DPRK side to set down issues to be discussed.

The Shengyang meeting comes days after the working group meeting of economy and energy cooperation held at the truce village of Panmunjom from August 7 to 8, and is also part of the efforts to pave the way for a second session of the six-party talks in early September and the ministerial meeting afterwards.

The chief delegates to the six-party talks agreed in their last meeting in July to hold the meetings of the five working groups in August.

The six-party talks, initiated in 2003, include China, DPRK, the United States, Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2007)

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