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IAEA Chief to Meet US, S Korean, Japanese Envoys to Six-Party Talks
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US chief negotiator Christopher Hill said on Thursday evening the US, South Korean and Japanese envoys to the six-party talks will meet the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El Baradei on Friday morning.


Hill said the envoys would hear about El Baradei's visit earlier this week to North Korea. El Baradei was there to discuss the shutting down of the North Korean nuclear facilities in Yongbyon.


When it's shut down, the next stage will be it is disabled, the next stage will be it is dismantled, Hill said, emphasizing it's a one-way process.


Hill said he met with the Japanese delegation on Thursday evening and discussed the coordination of their activities in the northeast Asia peace and security mechanism and the denuclearization working group.


"We talked about the timing of the future working group and what we might raise during the plenary (meeting) next Monday. It was useful discussion." Hill added.


Hill said there would be more bilateral meetings Friday.


When asked to comment on China's response to the decision made by the US State Treasury Department to bar US banks from dealing with Macao-based Banco Delta Asia (BDA) which the US accused of money laundering for North Korea, Hill said he sensed that China was concerned about the effect on Macao's reputation as a banking center.


"Our concern is with the long-term management of the BDA, not with the Macao monetary authorities," Hill said, adding that the US and Macao cooperated well over the past 18 months.


"Frankly, we are supportive of Macao, and appreciate their cooperation." Hill said.


Hill said he was "pretty confident we'll just get through this fine. It's not going to be a problem."


When asked what has to be done to make everyone happy, Hill said "we just need a little more consultation."


(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2007)

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