( dpa ) - US nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill on Thursday called for more transparency from North Korea on its nuclear programme.
"We can't have a situation where we pretend programmes didn't exist, for we both know that they existed," Hill said on a visit to South Korea, alluding to US demands for a correct and complete accounting of North Korea's nuclear programme, facilities and materials, which it promised but failed to provide by a December 31 deadline.
Both sides could move forward only with "full transparency," Hill said at the Incheon International Airport.
He added before he departed for China that he would like to see North Korea's nuclear declaration be submitted before February 25, when a new government is to take office in South Korea.
Hill is on a tour of the capitals involved in six-nation talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear programme. The talks involve the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia. He has visited Tokyo and is to also to travel to Beijing and Moscow.
The talks followed North Korea's failure to keep its promise to submit the nuclear declaration and disable its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon, 100 kilometres north of Pyongyang, by year's end.
South Korean officials said the differences on the declaration between the United States and North Korea are on an enriched uranium programme, which Washington insists Pyongyang has but whose existence Pyongyang denies. Highly enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear weapons.
During his stop in Seoul, Hill met Thursday with president-elect Lee Myunk Bak, and they spoke about what Hill called the necessity for close cooperation to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea.
Lee, a conservative, called during his election campaign for an in-depth review of cooperation agreements that the current liberal government in Seoul inked with North Korea. He handily won last month's elections.