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By Daniel Schearf
Beijing
18 July 2007

Delegates from six nations have gathered in Beijing to negotiate a timetable for North Korea to declare and dismantle its nuclear programs. As Daniel Schearf reports from the Chinese capital, the meeting begins as the United Nations' top nuclear expert says North Korea has shut down more nuclear facilities.

Negotiators from North and South Korea, the U.S., China, Japan, and Russia are trying to set a schedule for the second phase of an agreement that requires North Korea to declare all its nuclear facilities and dismantle them.

Christopher Hill addresses reporters after lunch meeting in Beijing, 18 Jul 2007
Christopher Hill addresses reporters after lunch meeting in Beijing, 18 Jul 2007
The chief U.S. negotiator, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill on Wednesday expressed optimism that that those steps could be done this year.

"I think the DPRK has an incentive to try to get moving onto this next phase because they would like to keep the fuel oil coming," he said. "And, we have a great incentive to move because it gets us beyond just shutdown to disablement."

North Korea has agreed to give up its nuclear programs in exchange for aid and diplomatic benefits.

The head of the United Nations nuclear agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, said Wednesday that Pyongyang has shut down five components at its Yongbyon nuclear complex.

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