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Hill Confirms No Bilateral Meeting with N Korea
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Top US negotiator to the six-party talks Christopher Hill confirmed in Beijing Sunday night that he has not yet had bilateral talks with Kim Kye-gwan, vice foreign minister of North Korea.

"He (Kim Kye-gwan) did not want to have bilateral talks with any delegation today and he said he will be ready for the talks tomorrow morning," Hill said when returning to hotel after a banquet attended by all the six delegations.

"The atmosphere (of the banquet) is pretty good. We had very good discussions with the Chinese side about their expectations for this round. So it's really very good start with the Chinese," Hill said.

He said he is "neither pessimistic nor optimistic" about Monday's talks.

Hailing China's preparations as "very good", Hill said the US has very good understanding with the China about what need to be done, "and I think the US cooperation with the Chinese is really excellent."

"We are very impressed by the activities of the Chinese delegation," he added.

As no ending date of the upcoming talks has been given, Hill said, "I plan to be home for Christmas."

(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2006)

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