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Archive for Saturday, September 24, 2005

N. Korean leader said to want meeting with U.S.

September 24, 2005

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— North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has ordered his aides to arrange a meeting with a high-ranking U.S. official, possibly with President Bush, a South Korean news agency reported Friday.

The Yonhap news agency said Kim told his Foreign Ministry to set up a visit to the North by a prominent U.S. figure, specifically mentioning Bush, former President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as possibilities. The report cited an anonymous source familiar with North Korean affairs.

Officials at South Korea's Unification Ministry and Foreign Ministry could not confirm the report.

The latest round of international talks on North Korea's nuclear program in Beijing produced a landmark accord Monday in which Pyongyang pledged to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for economic aid, security assurances and improved ties with the United States.

After the talks, chief U.S. negotiator Christopher Hill said he was willing to visit North Korea to keep channels of communication open.

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