US top negotiator to the six-party talks Christopher Hill Friday said that Washington currently has no intention of removing the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from a list of countries accused of "sponsoring terrorism".
"At this point, we cannot do that," Hill told reporters in Geneva, ahead of working group talks with the DPRK at the weekend.
But Hill said the two countries would continue to talk about this issue and try to "figure out" at what stage the DPRK can be removed from the US list.
The working group meeting will start Saturday morning at the US mission to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva.
Although it is technically about normalizing relations between the US and the DPRK, the meeting will focus on the disablement of the DPRK's nuclear facilities.
Hill hoped the meeting would create the basis for the next round of six-party talks, which would probably start in the early part of September. Besides the United States and the DPRK, the six-party talks also involve China, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Russia.
The working group meeting is being held as part of a six-party agreement reached on Feb. 13 this year.
Under the agreement, the DPRK agreed to dismantle its nuclear facilities in return for aid and security and diplomatic guarantees, especially normalizing ties with the United States.
The DPRK has shut down a key nuclear reactor in Yongbyon according to the agreement. But the United States insists that the DPRK must completely declare and disable its nuclear arsenal before any establishment of ties between the two countries that have been enemies for over 50 years.
(Xinhua News Agency September 1, 2007)