US envoy confident on agreeing to steps for N. Korean nuclear disarmament

September 30, 2007 05:40

A top US diplomat said Sunday he was optimistic about reaching an agreement on specific steps to shut down North Korea's nuclear programs. However, US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said he was uncertain whether negotiators would come up with a statement before the expected end of the latest round of six nation talks in Beijing on Sunday. The talks hosted by China, which also include Japan, Russia, and South Korea, are trying to push forward a February agreement under which the countries agreed to provide North Korea with 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil, or the monetary equivalent in other aid and assistance. In return, North Korea agreed to shut down its main nuclear reactor, which it did in July, and declare and ultimately dismantle all its nuclear programs.

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