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US senior official to visit North Korea
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A senior US official will visit North Korea this week in a bid to persuade Pyongyang to keep its promise to disclose all its nuclear programs and eventually abandon them, local media reported on Monday.

Sung Kim, the director of the State Department's Office of Korean Affairs, was scheduled to arrive in Pyongyang on Thursday after his visit to South Korea on Tuesday and China on Wednesday, the report quoted an unidentified US official as saying.

Kim is expected to return home on February 3.

Observers have noticed that Kim's scheduled visit to Northeast Asia occurs at a time when the United States has kept complaining that North Korea failed to announce "a complete and correct declaration" of its nuclear programs.

Under an agreement reached in October 2007 at the six-party talks, North Korea agreed to disable its key nuclear facilities at the Yongbyon complex, and to declare all other nuclear programs by the end of the year.

The six parties refer to the United States, North Korea, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

North Korea has denied that it had missed the deadline to submit that declaration, saying "other participating nations delay the fulfillment of their commitments, North Korea is compelled to adjust the tempo of the disablement of some nuclear facilities on the principle of 'action for action'."

(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2008)

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