U.S., N. Korea discuss nuke verification

Dec. 5, 2008 at 5:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. and North Korean diplomats discussed denuclearization of the Korean peninsula Friday in advance of next week's formal meeting, the State Department said.

Christopher Hill, assistant U.S. secretary of State, and the North Korean delegation Friday "had a useful exchange of views on verification" protocols for dismantling North Korea's nuclear program, department spokesman Robert Wood said.

Hill will meet with other members of the so-called six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization before formal negotiations begin Monday in Beijing. Members of the six-party talks are the two Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the United States.

"(Where) we are now is trying to get those understandings and assurances (about verification) that the North Koreans provided Chris," Wood said. "So the negotiations on that will take place in Beijing. And, hopefully, we will have, you know, a fiber verification protocol after that meeting."

When pressed Wood said he didn't know what issues were discussed but it was his understanding one resolved obstacle was "getting a number of these clarifications and assurances on paper. I think it's safe to say that the North has agreed to put some things on paper."

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