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Hill Urges North Korea to Be 'Serious' on Denuclearization
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Chief US negotiator to the six-party talks Christopher Hill on Friday again urged North Korea to be "serious" on denuclearization.

Hill told reporters before leaving the hotel that he is "not aware" of "any sign" of breakthrough in the current six-party talks.

He said he will have bilateral consultation with the Chinese delegation at 9:15 Friday morning.

"Today is the last day of the talks," Hill said, adding he is scheduled to leave Beijing on Saturday morning.

Asked whether another round of talks will be held in the future, Hill said "we will see the progress, and see whether it is valuable."

"Our purpose is the denuclearization. We'll have to evaluate this round in terms of whether we move towards the goal," Hill said.

The US and North Korean delegations met for several times on Thursday, and they are scheduled to hold another one-on-one meeting on Friday.

Late last evening, Hill told reporters that Thursday was a "long and difficult day". He urged  North Korea to engage in discussions on the denuclearization and implementation of the joint statement struck in September 2005, but not on financial issues.

Before leaving hotel on Friday morning, Chun Yung Woo, top negotiator of South Korea, said whether Friday's talks could achieve any "meaningful" progress relies on what stand North Korea comes up with.

The second phase of the talks moved on to the fifth day on Friday. According to the press center of the talks, the Chinese delegation will hold bilateral talks with the other five parties, respectively. A meeting of six chief negotiators is scheduled to be held on Friday afternoon.

The ongoing talks focus on the implementation of the joint statement, under which the North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for economic aid and security guarantees.

(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2006)

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