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U.S. chief nuclear negotiator to begin East Asia tour on Thursday
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08:09, July 11, 2007

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Christopher Hill, the U.S. envoy to the six-party talks designed to solve nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula, will begin his East Asian tour on Thursday, State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Tuesday.

Hill, who is assistant secretary of state, is due to be in Tokyo from July 13-15, Seoul from July 15-17 and Beijing July 17-18.

Casey said the next round of the six-party talks, involving the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, could begin next week in Beijing around July 18.

"We expect a six-party meeting on the 18th, or thereabouts," Casey said.

The last round of the six-party talks were held in March.

The announcement of Hill's scheduled visit to Asia was made at a time when the DPRK is believed to begin shutting down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor in the coming days as required by an agreement reached by the six parties in February.

Source: Xinhua

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