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Hill: N Korea Should Abandon Nuclear Program First

North Korea should first abandon its nuclear program and create a nuclear-free Korea Peninsula, then other issues could be discussed, US chief negotiator Christopher Hill said in Beijing Wednesday morning.


Hill said this while briefing reporters at hotel before heading for the new-round six-party talks scheduled to begin Wednesday morning.


"When North Korea back to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) with the IAEA safeguards, at an appropriate time we'll have a discussion about the subject of the provision of light water reactor," Hill said.


Aiming at resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, China hosted four rounds of six-party talks with the latest one adopting the first joint statement in September this year.


North Korea pledged in the statement to abandon all nuclear programs in exchange for energy aid and security guarantees.


While mentioning the possible North Korea-US bilateral meetings during the current talks, Hill said many two-way discussions will be held and it is likely for them to meet with the North Korean counterparts.


"I look forward to hearing from the Chinese delegation on how they assess the negotiations," Hill added.


(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2005)


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