North Korean nuclear envoys arrive in Beijing

US assistant secretary of state says further announcements of progress possible, after positive meeting in Singapore.

Washington's top North Korea negotiator arrived in China Wednesday for regional talks on resolving a deadlock over a disputed inventory of the North's nuclear programs. US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill was scheduled to meet with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei, along with top negotiators from South Korea and Japan. China is the host of multinational talks on North Korea's nuclear program grouping those five nations and Russia. "I believe all parties will use this opportunity to fully discuss the current situation and the next stage work and exchange in depth views on that," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters at a regularly scheduled news conference on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters in Singapore on Tuesday, Hill said he and North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan had "a full discussion on all issues" during a meeting in the Southeast Asian city state. Hill said there could be further announcements of progress in Beijing, depending on feedback received from the countries' respective governments. South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted Kim, who was scheduled to arrive in China later Wednesday, as saying differences "have been narrowed a lot." Progress has sputtered over North Korea's pledge to provide a full inventory of its nuclear activities and facilities. Pyongyang insists it provided a full list in November, the US says it was incomplete because North Korea didn't say what nuclear know-how or materials it provided to other nations. Washington has also demanded Pyongyang answer allegations it had a secret uranium enrichment program in addition to its known plutonium program. Hill has said that once a new list is submitted, it will be handed on to the Chinese hosts and discussed at a meeting of the six nations. North Korea began disabling its main nuclear facilities last year in exchange for aid and diplomatic concessions. China is the North's main diplomatic ally and source of food and energy assistance.