US lawmaker: N. Korean, Syrian nuclear cooperation not occurring

US officials on Wednesday suggested that any past nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Syria would not scuttle nuclear disarmament talks with Pyongyang, provided the North proves no cooperation is happening now. Christopher Hill, the chief US envoy at the six-nation talks, said after a closed-door meeting with US senators that the US needs to make sure "that proliferation issues, whether they have existed in the past or not, certainly don't exist in the present or in the future." The Bush administration has refused to publicly comment on the matter, and Hill would not discuss Syria specifically. But Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer told reporters after the briefing, "I came away with the sense that whatever, if anything ever had occurred in the past, it is not occurring now, and I think our negotiators feel that with good confidence."