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U.S., North Korea To Hold Direct Talks

25 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The United States and North Korea are to hold a rare one-on-one meeting in Beijing today, a day before the reopening of the six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons program.

Top U.S. negotiator Christopher Hill said there will be no negotiations today. He said the two sides are trying to get acquainted, to review how they see things, and to compare notes.

North Korea abandoned the six-party talks last year and has since claimed to have nuclear weapons.

In a flurry of diplomacy before the formal opening of the talks, North and South Korea met on 24 June, while the United States will also meet today with the other nations today in the six-way negotiations: China, Japan, and Russia.

Three previous rounds of talks ended inconclusively, but now the United States has signaled greater flexibility to break 13 months of deadlock.