July 24, 2005

U.S., N.Korea nuclear talks delegations to meet

BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. and North Korean negotiators are
to meet on Monday on the eve of a long-awaited round of
six-nation talks aimed at resolving a three-year crisis over
Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told
reporters the meeting -- a rare diplomatic contact between the
two main protagonists in the crisis -- would take place on
Monday afternoon. He gave no specific time or venue.

"We're just trying to get acquainted, to review how we see
things coming up and compare notes," Hill said ahead of the
talks opening on Tuesday between the two Koreas, the United
States, Russia, Japan and host China.

"We are looking forward to working hard and trying to make
some progress," he said in a statement given to pool reporters.

Contact between the United States and North Korea at three
previous rounds of inconclusive talks in Beijing has been
limited and has taken place on the sidelines of the main