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U.S. tells N.Korea to fully declare nuclear activities
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States urged North Korea on Friday to give a full declaration of its nuclear activities after Pyongyang missed an end-2007 deadline for presenting the inventory under a disarmament-for-aid deal.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill held talks with Russia's chief negotiator in Moscow after a tour of Asia to discuss the deal, which would award fuel oil or aid for making the declaration and dismantling its nuclear facilities.
"They are obliged to give a complete and correct declaration, a declaration which would cover all their nuclear materials, all their nuclear facilities and all their nuclear programs and any nuclear cooperation they have with anyone," Hill told reporters after talks.
"That is what we are expecting," he said, declining to give any new deadlines for the declaration.
North Korea says it has accounted for its nuclear programs as required.
The United States says none of the countries party to the deal -- a result of six-party talks between the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia -- has seen the final declaration.
Russia's chief negotiator on North Korea, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, expressed frustration with the speed of the process.
"We are unanimous in our regret at the slow movement we have within the process, but at the same time we recognize that this is a very difficult and bumpy road which we have to go along," he told reporters at a joint briefing with Hill.
If North Korea lives up to the deal, the energy starved state would get 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil or equivalent aid, and Washington would take it off its terrorism black list.
North Korea has been cooperating in disabling its three main nuclear facilities -- an ageing reactor, a plant that makes nuclear fuel and another that turns spent fuel into arms-grade plutonium -- U.S. and South Korean officials have said.
The disabling of North Korea's nuclear reactor is a key part of a complex nuclear deal struck after years of diplomatic wrangling and Pyongyang's test of a nuclear bomb in late 2006.
Hill said the next round of talks would take place soon but declined to give a date: "I think the Chinese will be looking to call a six-party meeting."
China is the host of the six party talks. Earlier, Itar-Tass news agency quoted Hill as saying the next round of the could take place in the next few weeks.
Russia will complete a delivery of 50,000 tons of fuel oil to North Korea this month under an agreement reached at the six-party negotiations, Losyukov told reporters.
"I think that around January 20-21 we will complete the delivery of our portion to North Korea of the oil which was envisaged by the six-party talks," Losyukov said. "So it can not be used as a pretext to slow the process down."
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Michael Winfrey)
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