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Hill Expects 'Real Changes' in Six-Party Talks
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Christopher Hill, US chief negotiator for the six-party talks, said Saturday that he expects "some real changes" in next week's six-party talks.

"I am not going to get into specific elements, but I think we need to see some real changes on the ground," Hill, who is also the assistant secretary of State, told reporters upon his arrival at the Incheon International Airport.

"We've had a lot of consultations for this round, and reasonably we can make some progress," Hill said. "Let's see if some of those useful, substantive conversations we've had can be put to use in negotiations."

"I think we have to go from having various declarations to having agreement on implementation," Hill added. "So I am looking for some implementation of the September 2005 agreement, meaning something changes on the ground."

Diplomats from China, North Korea, the United States, South Korea, Russia and Japan will gather in Beijing next Wednesday to launch the third session of the fifth round of the six-party talks on the nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula.

Hill will stay in South Korea until next Monday to fine-tune a strategy for the negotiation with Seoul and then fly to Japan.

At a joint statement adopted in the fourth round of the six-party talks on Sept. 19 2005, North Korea agreed to drop its nuclear weapon program in exchange for security guarantee, economic aids and normalization of diplomatic ties with the United States. However, the statement has not been implemented so far.

(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2007)

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