US envoy urges progress in North Korea talks

US negotiator Christopher Hill, citing unprecedented cooperation with China, says the United States wants to make "concrete progress," not just talk, during international disarmament negotiations with North Korea next week. Hill, an assistant secretary of state, told reporters Wednesday that he expected six-nation talks in Beijing to reopen Sunday night or Monday after a 13-month layoff. He said he would stop in Tokyo and possibly Seoul for consultations with Japanese and South Korean officials on his way to the Chinese capital. Once in Beijing, Hill said he planned separate talks with North Korean, Russian and Chinese officials before negotiations are held. "The purpose is to come to an agreement and have some effect on the ground," Hill said of the coming sixth round of six-nation talks. "And so I don't want to be optimistic that we are going to achieve that, but that is certainly the objective."