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Hill speeds up DPRK denuclearization verification
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The U.S. negotiator to the six-party talks, Christopher Hill, pushed the verification process to the denuclearization of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday.

Hill said he hoped the verification "begins as soon as possible to complete the second phase and to address the third phase objective".

Hill met with the DPRK delegation soon after he arrived in Beijing on Tuesday afternoon to attend the upcoming heads meeting of a new round of six-party talks on Thursday. He will meet the delegation of the Republic of Korea (ROK) soon. That group was scheduled to arrive here on Tuesday.

Hill told the press after a meeting with the DPRK the denuclearization verification, including documents, site visits and interviews, would be a focal point in the upcoming heads meeting.

Under an agreement reached at the six-party talks here in October, the DPRK 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. The DPRK submitted its long-awaited nuclear declaration to China on June 26 and demolished the cooling tower at the Yongbyon nuclear reactor on June 27, though it missed the deadline.

According to Hill, bilateral issues, including food shipments and the nuclear disassembly, had also been touched upon during Tuesday's meeting.

Hill said he was happy to see "the talks shifting back to its format".

(Xinhua News Agency July 9, 2008)

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