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Archive for Saturday, October 4, 2008

Envoy’s visit didn’t stop N. Korea nuclear work

October 4, 2008

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— A senior U.S. envoy's trip to North Korea did not stop the communist nation from restoring its nuclear facilities, the State Department said Friday.

Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill returned to South Korea from a three-day trip to the North to try to salvage a six-party disarmament pact after North Korea reversed the dismantlement of its nuclear facilities.

He was hoping to draw the regime back to the negotiating table with an offer of a face-saving compromise.

But State Department spokesman Robert Wood in Washington told reporters the North was still moving equipment from its nuclear facilities it had put in storage back to its original location.

"Based on ... recent information we've received, the North Koreans continue to take some steps to reverse disablement" at their Yongbyong nuclear facilities, Wood said. "If this activity is continuing, we obviously weren't able to get them to stop it."

Back in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday, Hill described his talks in the North as lengthy.

"We had a lot of catching up to do and needless to say, there have been a lot of problems in the six-party process. So indeed, we did quite a substantial review of the activities in the last couple of months," Hill said.

He refused to disclose further details, saying he first needed to report to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the other nations involved in the negotiations - China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.

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