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Rice to visit China, South Korea

WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to South Korea and China, in part to discuss North Korea's nuclear program, a department spokesman said.

Rice will meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other senior officials to discuss a number of regional and bilateral issues, including the denuclearization of North Korea, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Thursday.

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Rice, during a speech Wednesday, said North Korea soon would produce its past-due accounting of its nuclear programs and activities, Voice of America reported.

"Obviously we all wish that the original deadline had been met at the end of this past year," Casey told reporters. "We'd like to see the declaration be provided as soon as possible ... ."

Once the list is proffered, "we also need to make sure that it is fully verifiable," Casey said.

Rice also will visit Chengdu to offer condolences to earthquake victims and discuss relief efforts, he said.

Before traveling to Asia, Rice will travel to Germany to attend the International Conference in Support of Palestinian Civil Security and Rule of Law, Casey said.

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Her travels, which begin next week, also include attending a G8 meeting in Japan, he said.

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