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US Nuclear Envoy Expects North Korean Nuclear Talks Next Month

Han Song-Ryol, deputy head of North Korea's UN mission, said last week that his country would neither declare nor dismantle its nuclear deterrent without getting a light water reactor for electricity.

Seoul (AFP) Oct 30, 2005
US chief nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill said Sunday he expects six-nation talks on dismantling North Korea's nuclear arsenal to resume next month despite a dispute over the next step.

"We're expecting them to start in early November as agreed," Hill said upon arrival at Incheon airport for talks with South Korean officials.

Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, held a closed-door meeting with South Korea's top nuclear negotiator Song Min-Soon during a short stopover in Seoul, officials said.

"He is just having a brief stopover overnight," US embassy spokesman Robert Ogburn said. "Then he is out tomorrow morning."

Washington and Pyongyang have been wide apart in the sequencing of disarmament even though they and the other nations agreed to a statement of principles on making North Korea free of nuclear weapons.

Han Song-Ryol, deputy head of North Korea's UN mission, said last week that his country would neither declare nor dismantle its nuclear deterrent without getting a light water reactor for electricity.

The last round of six-way nuclear talks ended in September with a statement of principles under which North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons program in return for energy and security guarantees.

But the North later warned it would not dismantle its nuclear arsenal before the United States supplies it with a light-water atomic reactor to generate electricity.

The United States says North Korea must first disarm.

In the past week, top envoys of the nations involved in the talks -- the United States, China, the two Koreas, Russia and Japan -- have met to discuss ways to ensure progress at the next round due next month.

China's top nuclear negotiator Li Bin had talks with Song in Seoul Saturday after meeting Hill in Hawaii and his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye-Gwan in Pyongyang.

On Friday North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il pledged to return to the six-nation talks when he received Chinese President Hu Jintao on a three-day visit to the Stalinist state.

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Iran Won't Return To Nuclear Freeze: Ahmadinejad
Tehran (AFP) Oct 30, 2005
Iran will not return to a full freeze of its disputed nuclear fuel activities and Western demands for such confidence building measures are unacceptable, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday.







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