Wednesday, September 06, 2006
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Delegates from the United States and the two Koreas were meeting Tuesday in Beijing, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday, possibly indicating a breakthrough in stalled talks on the North's nuclear weapons program.
The report cited an unnamed South Korean official, and no more details were immediately given.
The U.S. has refused to hold direct talks with North Korea to resolve the impasse at six-nation negotiations aimed convincing Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons programs. However, Washington has said it could hold multilateral talks along with other countries.
The main U.S. nuclear envoy, Christopher Hill, had been scheduled to arrive Tuesday in Beijing as part of a regional tour. Earlier Tuesday, during a stop in Tokyo, Hill underscored that the U.S. would be open to meeting with the North as long as other countries were involved.
"We can look at other formats," Hill said. "The time for organized, multilateral diplomacy in Asia is now."
North Korea has boycotted the nuclear talks since November in anger over U.S. financial restrictions for the regime's alleged counterfeiting and money laundering tied to sales of weapons of mass destruction.
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