A senior American diplomat plans to visit North Korea in the coming week in a bid to salvage a faltering international effort to get the communist country to give up nuclear weapons, US officials said Saturday.
Christopher Hill, the chief American negotiator in the six-nation talks, will leave for South Korea on Monday and is expected to travel to the North shortly afterward amid growing concern the often-delayed disarmament negotiation is on the verge of collapse, the officials said.
US and North Korean diplomats met last week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in a sign that talks are not entirely dead. Hill and a small team plan to continue those talks in the North Korean capital, an official said, but it is not clear that Hill is bringing a new proposal to break the latest impasse.
Hill also held strategy sessions last week with envoys from the other four nations that have offered the North economic and political rewards for giving up a nuclear stockpile believed to be equal to about six bombs, and the means to make more.
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