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Hill: Coming Nuclear Talks to Schedule Working Groups
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Top US negotiator to the six-party talks Christopher Hill Wednesday said upcoming nuclear talks will focus on scheduling working groups, voicing hope for completing the implementation of second phase by the end of this year.

"All the parties concerned will try to schedule five working groups and get these groups going," Hill told reporters before leaving a hotel in downtown Beijing for a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wu Daiwei.

Reiterating goals for next steps, Hill said North Korea should comprehensively declare all its nuclear facilities and disable all existing nuclear facilities.

Hill said parties concerned will also try to complete the implementation of second phase (of denuclearization) "by the end of this year," adding "no agreement" has reached yet.

"We get a long road ahead of us," he said.

Hill was referring to the stage in a February 13 joint document which requires North Korea to declare all its nuclear programs and disable all existing nuclear facilities.

"My own view is we ought to wrap this up in the calendar year of 2007," Hill told reporters on Monday evening after separate meetings with North Korea and Russian chief negotiators, saying all parties "in the same ballpark".

The fresh six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue on Wednesday afternoon will gather chief negotiators from China, North Korea, the United States, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan.

There will be no opening ceremony for Wednesday's meeting. Top negotiators will go through the main agenda in a "down to earth" manner, including evaluating the implementation of the February joint document and discussing what to do in the next phase.

(Xinhua News Agency July 18, 2007)

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