Despite a possible looming complication, negotiators from six nations are gathering next week in Beijing to discuss ways to disable North Korea's nuclear reactor.
In speaking Friday about the coming session, US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill would not discuss the possible distraction: news reports about possible North Korean cooperation with Syria on a nuclear facility. Hill is the chief US negotiator in the talks aiming to eliminate North Korea's nuclear capability.
Such reports are an "important reminder of the need to accelerate the process we're already engaged in," Hill said when asked if they would complicate the nuclear talks. "It does not change the goal we are aiming for."
A senior US nuclear official, Andrew Semmel, said Friday that North Koreans were in Syria, and that the government in Damascus may have had contacts with "secret suppliers" to obtain nuclear equipment.