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Hill: 'Benchmark' Achieved in 1st Phase of Six-Party Talks

US chief delegate Christopher Hill said in Beijing Friday that the first phase of the fifth-round six-party talks has "achieved benchmark" and technical meetings are to start afterwards.


Hill made the remarks after China, North and South Korea, the US, Japan and Russia wrapped up the first phase of the current round of talks.


When asked whether the first phase of the fifth-round of talks has achieved benchmark, Hill gave a positive answer, saying that the delegations of Japan, South Korea and Russia have all made "good approaches and positive suggestions."


"There will be technical meetings and discussions" in the near future, Hill told reporters, reiterating the US position to urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapon and uranium enrichment programs at an early date.


The first phase of the fifth-round six-party talks concluded in Beijing Friday with the adoption of a chairman's statement.


The parties agreed to hold the second-phase meeting "at the earliest possible date," the statement says.


(Xinhua News Agency November 12, 2005)

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