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Rice to visit S Korea, China
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit South Korea and China following a meeting of G8 foreign ministers in Kyoto, Japan later this month, State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Thursday.

Rice will visit Seoul first on June 28 before she travels to Beijing on June 29 , Casey told reporters.

During her east Asian tour, Rice will have, among others, "a discussion of the six-party talks" with officials of the visited countries.

The six-party talks, involving the United States, North Korea, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, was designed to solve nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula.

The scheduled visit by Rice follows US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill's visit to Japan and China this week. Hill is also expected to have further talks with his Japanese and Chinese counterparts on the settlement of nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula.

Rice said on Wednesday that North Korea will soon make a declaration of all its nuclear weapons programs after having missed a deadline under a six-party deal.

Under an agreement reached at the six-party talks in Beijing in February last year, North Korea agreed to abandon all nuclear weapons and programs and declare all its nuclear programs and facilities by the end of 2007, in exchange for diplomatic and economic incentives.

However, North Korea missed the deadline due to its differences with other countries in the Korean nuclear disarmament talks.

The United States has been urging North Korea to fully declare its nuclear programs and activities.

(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2008)

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