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US Chief Delegate Hopes for Progress in Three-Day Talks

US chief negotiator Christopher Hill on Wednesday night said all concerned parties wanted to seek progress in the first phase of the ongoing fifth round of the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue, though it was scheduled to last only three days.

Hill made the remarks while briefing reporters at his hotel after a dinner with Kim Kye-gwan, his counterpart from North Korea.

On the first day of the current round, Hill said the involved parties reviewed their positions at a plenary meeting in the morning, adding that the US delegation had bilateral meetings with all the other five delegations.

Hill told the reporters that a meeting of chief delegates is to be convened on Thursday morning, to be followed by bilateral consultations.

Asked about the Japanese delegation's proposal for setting up working groups, Hill said it was a "good" one, but reiterated the US stance, that the first track should be North Korea giving up its nuclear programs, returning to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and accepting IAEA inspectors.

The US chief negotiator also stressed the need to seek "clarity of principles" in the three-day talks.

The Chinese delegation may propose a roadmap based on the summarization of all parties' positions and concerns by the end of the first phase, Hill said.

(Xinhua News Agency November 10, 2005)

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