Rice arrives in Seoul for talks on North Korean nuclear programme

Business Materials 28 June 2008 12:37 (UTC +04:00)

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Seoul for talks on North Korea's nuclear programme on Saturday, one day after Pyongyang destroyed a cooling tower at its Yongbyon plant in a move to show it will dismantle its controversial programme, dpa reported.

Rice arrived from Japan where she had attended a meeting in Kyoto of the foreign ministers of the Group of Eight, the world's seven leading economies and Russia.

The talks in Seoul are aimed at verifying the declaration of nuclear activities which North Korea presented to China on Thursday, and to resume the so-called Six-party talks to end the long-running row over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

Rice will also discuss defence cooperation between Washington and Seoul with her South Korean counterpart Yu Myung Hwan, before travelling on to China on Sunday.

Following its belated nuclear report, North Korea had Friday destroyed the Yongbyon cooling tower to demonstrate its intent to end its nuclear programme.

In exchange, Washington plans to take the communist country off its list of countries accused of supporting terrorism, and to lift economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

The moves are part of agreements reached in the Six-country talks also involving China, Suth Korea, Russia and Japan.