US Goes One-on-One With N. Korea

Top envoy dispatched to Pyongyang as nuke talks get serious
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2007 6:37 AM CDT
US Goes One-on-One With N. Korea
U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill, left, and his Japanese counterpart Kenichiro Sasae, head of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, speak to reporters after their meeting in Tokyo to discuss the way forward in the stalled six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear...   (Associated Press)

In a sudden reversal of White House strategy, envoy Christopher Hill has been dispatched to North Korea for direct talks on dismantling the nation's nuclear arsenal, the New York Times reports. The move came just hours after the US released $25 million in frozen North Korean funds that had stalled negotiations.

Hill is expected to press North Korea to fulfill a commitment made in six-party talks in February to slow its main reactor and provide a list of nuclear operations. He may also extend an administration offer to buy equipment, the Times speculates. "Unless they get their hands on this stuff, there's no way we can argue that we've stopped the North from making more nukes," a source said. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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