US official going to Asia for North Korea nuclear talks

The top US negotiator in talks meant to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear bombs is leaving Tuesday for discussions in Japan, South Korea and China, the State Department said Monday. Christopher Hill, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs, plans stops in Tokyo and Seoul before heading to Beijing for an expected new round of six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. He did not have specific dates for Hill's stops. When asked by reporters if Hill planned to visit North Korea, McCormack said, "We'll keep you up to date on any changes to his travel plans."