China seen unveiling six-party statement soon-Hill

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NEW YORK, Oct 2 (Reuters) The top US negotiator with North Korea said today he expects China to announce the latest six-party joint statement in the next day or two.

US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill also told reporters he hoped to know by the end of the year how much fissile material, which can be used to make nuclear weapons, North Korea has produced.

Hill repeated that Washington has informed China, which hosts the six-party talks by the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, that it supports the joint statement hammered out in Beijing over the weekend and that is now being reviewed by the other members in the talks.

''As the Chinese canvass the other members of the six-party process, I am expecting that they will be in a position in the next day or two to announce and to release the joint statement,'' Hill told a news conference.

While he would not provide details, he said the statement ''relates very directly to how we can move forward in the coming months on a certain timetable'' on North Korea providing a full declaration of on US nuclear programs and disabling key elements of its Yongbyon nuclear facility that produces plutonium.

Hill also said he had ''intensive and productive discussions'' on US concerns that North Korea has a uranium enrichment program, which can produce a second path to producing nuclear weapons.

The October 2002 disclosure that the United States believed North Korea had such a program triggered the latest nuclear crisis with North Korea.


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