- Title: JAPAN: U.S and Japan gear up for North Korea nuclear talks
- Date: 3rd December 2008
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (DECEMBER 2, 2008) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF FOREIGN MINISTRY HILL AND U.S. DELEGATES GREETING JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL (*** FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ***) AKITAKA SAIKI AND SHAKING HANDS HILL AND SAIKI MEETING REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE CHRISTOPHER HILL SAYING: "Obviously, the details of verification do need to be worked out at the six parties and we're looking forward to in-depth discussion of that at the meeting in Beijing." HILL LEAVING
- Embargoed: 18th December 2008 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Reuters ID: LVAAOVHRONL4AVHKK38QNC5RXU6D
- Story Text: Top U.S. negotiator for multilateral talks on ending North Korea's nuclear programmes said on Tuesday (December 2) that he saw a way forward in the next round of talks, but details of verifying the North's nuclear programmes still needed to be nailed down.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill arrived in Japan ahead of the next round of six-way talks, set to be held on December 8 in Beijing.
"I think we have a way forward, but we have to see how the negotiations go at the six-party meeting," Hill told a group of reporters.
In the evening, Hill met with Japanese foreign ministry official Akitaka Saiki in Tokyo in preparation for the Beijing talks.
"Obviously, the details of verification need to be worked out at the six parties and we're looking forward to an in-depth discussion of that at the meeting in Beijing," Hill said to reporters.
In October 2008, the United States removed North Korea from a terrorism blacklist and relaxed some trade sanctions in exchange for Pyongyang's agreement to verify North Korea's claims it made about its atomic arms programme.
That agreement needs to be approved at the talks among China, the two Koreas, Japan, Russia and the United States, and the discussions are expected to focus on getting a written agreement on how to verify Pyongyang's claims.
Hill emphasised that the United States is in sync with Japan and South Korea, even though Japan has criticised Washington's move to remove Pyongyang from a terrorism blacklist.
Japan is also under pressure from Seoul to provide energy aid that was promised to North Korea under an agreement between the six countries, when Pyongyang disables its nuclear facility at Yongbyon and declares its nuclear programmes.
Hill, Saiki, and South Korean envoy Kim Suk are set to meet in Tokyo on Wednesday (December 3) to make more preparation for the six-way talks.
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