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Another Month Delay Unlikely: Hill
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US top negotiator to the six-party talks Christopher Hill said in Beijing on Friday night that he doesn't believe the implementation of the February 13 joint document would delay for another month.

"I don't believe we'll go for another month," Hill, who arrived in Beijing Friday afternoon, told reporters at hotel.

The six parties had agreed a 60-day deadline, to terminate on Saturday, in the Feb. 13 joint document to implement a series of initial steps, mainly including the shutdown and sealing of the Yongbyon nuclear facility of the Democratic People's republic of Korea (DPRK) and economic and energy aid by the other parties to the DPRK.

Hill said he had no idea exactly how long the deadline would be extended and he had to work with the other partners to seek the best way to achieve the goals, noting the issue needs to be dealt with "multilaterally".

Hill will meet with Chinese top envoy to the talks, vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei on Saturday. According to a source with the US embassy in Beijing, Hill is also expected to meet his DPRK counterpart Kim Kye-Gwan on Saturday.

"I want to talk to the Chinese and we need a very clear and serious discussion with the Chinese who is chair of the six-party process," said Hill.

The six-party talks have been in recess since March 22 due to difficulties in resolving the issue concerning the transfer of the allegedly illicit funds of the DPRK frozen in a Macao-based bank.

The DPRK insisted that unfreezing the funds was a prerequisite for starting other negotiations.

The US said on April 6 that it supported the return of the US$25 million of funds to the DPRK and it has identified a way to do that.

Hill said the DPRK's accounts are fully available, so the frozen funds are not a issue any more.

Hill is probably to leave for Washington on Sunday.

The six-party talks also groups the Republic of Korea, Japan and Russia.

(Xinhua News Agency April 14, 2007)

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