US wants North Korea nuclear questions answered

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NEW YORK, Sep 23 (Reuters) There are many questions that need to be answered about North Korea's nuclear programs, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today ahead of fresh talks this week on ending Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

Rice made the comment following media reports that a September 6 Israeli air strike inside Syria may have been triggered by concerns that North Korea and Syria were cooperating on a nuclear facility.

Speaking to reporters as she began a meeting in New York with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Rice made no reference to that air strike but she stressed how much the United States wishes to know about North Korea's nuclear programs.

''There are, frankly, a lot of questions that remain to be answered and we want to be able to answer questions about all aspects of the North Korean program. I think that's very important,'' Rice said.

A new round of six-party talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States to discuss ending North Korea's nuclear programs are scheduled to begin on Thursday in Beijing.

REUTERS SG RK2017

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