US, N. Korean envoys arrive in Beijing for nuclear talks

Envoys from the United States and North Korea arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for talks on ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.

US, N. Korean envoys arrive in Beijing for nuclear talks
Envoys from the United States and North Korea arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for talks on ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.

US delegation head Christopher Hill and his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye Gwan were expected to hold bilateral talks later on Tuesday, before attending formal negotiations between six nations on Wednesday and Thursday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on Monday that North Korea had shut down its main nuclear reactor, with agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei calling it "a very positive step."

China's official Xinhua news agency quoted Kim as saying before leaving Pyongyang on Tuesday that North Korea would "spare no effort" to make progress in this week's talks with the United States, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.

"The first phase [of dismantlement] has been accomplished, so the talks will focus on the sequence of the obligations and actions to be taken by the concerned parties in the second phase under the February 13 agreement," the agency quoted Kim as saying.

On Sunday, a top US official said that the next step would be to to address the closing down of North Korea's covert uranium enrichment programme.

North Korea agreed in February to shut down the reactor in exchange for far-reaching economic and energy aid.

The first South Korean tanker containing 6,200 tons of heavy oil docked at a North Korean port on Friday.

Ten IAEA inspectors arrived in Pyongyang on Sunday to verify and monitor the shut-down and sealing of North Korea's main Yongbyon reactor.

DPA

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Temmuz 2007, 10:04
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