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Hill: Six-Party Talks Best Way to Resolve Nuclear Issue Despite Recess
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Chief US negotiator on Friday underscored the six-party talks remained the best way to resolve the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue although the talks entered a recess on Friday.
"We do need to make tangible progress...We still believe the six-party process is the best way to solve it (denuclearization),"Christopher Hill told reporters Friday night in his hotel.

His comments came after the talks entered a recess following five days of negotiation in Beijing, involving China, North Korea, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

Formally known as the second phase of the fifth round since 2003, the talks resumed on Monday after a 13-month suspension.

"We were disappointed not reaching any agreement this round," Hill said. "North Korea was not engaged in the denuclearization issue."

Hill and his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye-gwan met several times on Friday but did not have formal bilateral talks.

On Friday afternoon, a chairman's statement was issued, which said the six parties agreed to recess to report to capitals and to reconvene "at the earliest opportunity."

The chief US envoy said the talks would restart in ``weeks, not months."

Hill said there are some "encouraging signs" that they declared a recess rather than announce the round is over.

"We can't go another 13 months...we will get back very soon," Hill said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 23, 2006)


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