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US, N Korea discuss nuclear disablement

world Updated: Nov 08, 2008 10:25 IST

A top US envoy has held talks with North Korean officials in New York about steps to verify their nuclear disarmament and deliveries of energy aid under the disarmament deal.

The envoy, Christopher Hill, met for dinner with the delegates, including Ri Gun, director general for North American Affairs at the North Korean foreign ministry, State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood told reporters on Friday.

Ri Gun is heading a North Korean delegation to events in New York organised by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), according to the State Department.

Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the North Koreans "discussed the verification protocol, energy assistance, and disablement of the North's nuclear facilities," Wood said.

The United States and its partners North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia must formally agree to a disarmament verification protocol now that the United States and North Korea have resolved a months-long dispute.

A date has still to be set for the six parties to meet and agree to the verification protocol, Wood said.

On October 11 the United States struck North Korea from a list of countries, which allegedly support terrorism after Pyongyang agreed to steps to verify its nuclear disarmament and pledged to resume disabling its atomic plants.

The move appeared to save the six-party disarmament negotiations from potential collapse.