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US nuclear envoy due in New York for talks with NKorean

Christopher Hill, chief US negotiator.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Nov 6, 2008
Christopher Hill, the chief US negotiator on North Korea's nuclear disarmament, was due for talks in New York later Thursday with a senior official from Pyongyang, the State Department said.

Hill will travel "to New York today... to participate in a working dinner with Ambassador Ri Gun, director general for North American Affairs at the DPRK foreign ministry," department deputy spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

He gave no details except to confirm that their discussions will be about the progress of the six-party talks aimed at scrapping North Korea's weapons-grade nuclear programs.

Ri Gun is heading a North Korean delegation to events in New York organized by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, a non-governmental organization (NGO), according to the State Department.

Sung Kim, who heads the State Department's Korea office, was due to meet with members of the delegation on Thursday, Wood said.

"They're going to talk about... the six-party discussions. And we'll obviously be talking verification," Wood said.

The partners in the negotiations must formally agree to a verification regime for the disarmament process now that the United States and North Korea have resolved a months-long dispute.

On October 11 the United States struck North Korea from a list of countries which allegedly support terrorism after Pyongyang agreed to steps to verify its nuclear disarmament and pledged to resume disabling its atomic plants.

The six-party negotiations involve the United States, the two Koreas, China, Japan and Russia.

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NKorea's nuclear drive seen dogging next US leader
Seoul (AFP) Oct 31, 2008
Among the many foreign policy headaches facing the next US president, North Korea -- isolated, poor and hungry, but crucially nuclear armed -- poses an outsized security challenge.

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