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US: Working Group Meeting Aims to Identify Technical Means
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Top US negotiator to the Korean Peninsular nuclear talks Christopher Hill said in Shenyang Wednesday evening the upcoming working group meeting on denuclearization is to identity technical means to disable the nuclear facilities in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) rather than reach an agreement.


"The purpose (of the meeting) is not so much to negotiate an agreement today or this week, but rather to identify the technical procedures that can be used to affect disablement, "said Hill, who is also the US Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, following his bilateral talks with his counterpart from Republic of Korea (ROK) Chun Yung-woo Wednesday evening. The two-day meeting, to be started Thursday afternoon, will focus on the disablement of the DPRK's nuclear facilities and the declaration of its nuclear programs.


"We hope to have experts around the table...we hope that we can have an agreement on what type of technical procedures can be used that we can put together an actual agreement, " said Hill. Hill's remarks were echoed by Chun, who accompanied Hill to meet the reporters.


The meeting was on an expert level, which would mainly discuss the technical procedures for DPRK to declare and finally disable its nuclear facilities, Chun told reporters, adding that the meeting is not aimed at reaching an agreement. As for the massive flood that plagues the DPRK, Hill said it was "a serious humanitarian issue". "We would like to be part of the efforts to assist," he said.


Hill said he is expected to meet with Japanese chief envoy to the six-party talks Kenichiro Sasae, who arrived here late Wednesday night, and Russian envoy Grigory Berdennikov Thursday morning.


The Shenyang meeting, one of the five meetings of working groups under the six-party talks, is part of the efforts to pave the way for the second session of the sixth round of talks in early September and a ministerial meeting afterwards.


The chief delegates to the six-party talks agreed in their last meeting in July to hold meetings of the five working groups in August. In early August, a working group meeting on economy and energy cooperation was held at the truce village of Panmunjom on the Korean Peninsula.


The first meeting of the denuclearization working group was held in Beijing on March 17 and 18 ahead of the sixth round of talks.


(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2007)

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