Attempt to restart 6-party talks fails

April 11, 2006 at 11:06 PM

TOKYO, April 11 (UPI) -- An attempt to restart the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program ended in continued stalemate Tuesday.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill and North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan had a brief talk during a coffee break at an academic conference in Tokyo, Kyodo News Service reported.

Hill reportedly told Kim that North Korea should return to the six-party talks without condition. Kim said "a rock must be lifted first" -- apparently referring to United States sanctions against a Macao bank linked to forgery of U.S. currency.

Hill had formal talks with negotiators from China and South Korea as well as Japan's top negotiator Kenichiro Sasae.

"I don't have any further six-party meetings planned, to my knowledge," Hill told reporters after a lunch discussion with Sasae.

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