US envoy: N. Korea nuclear talks at crucial stage

December 17, 2006 08:44

The US envoy to the North Korean nuclear disarmament talks said Sunday that negotiations were at a "fork in the road" between diplomacy and sanctions. Arriving in Beijing for the first full-fledged negotiations in 13 months, US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told reporters that North Korea and the other negotiating parties had a difficult task. "I hope that the DPRK understands that, as the rest of us do, that we really are reaching a fork in the road," Hill said, using the initials of the North's formal name. "We can either go forward on a diplomatic track, or you have to go to a much more difficult track, and that is a track that involves sanctions that I think ultimately will really be very harmful to the DPRK economy," he said.

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