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Powell Urges Progress in North Korean Standoff - 2004-10-24


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is urging quick progress in the stand-off over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, as he visits China in a brief three-nation Asian tour.

Mr. Powell arrived in Beijing Sunday from Japan, where he said it is a matter of urgency for North Korea to rejoin the six-party talks on its suspected nuclear weapons program.

He said North Korea should not use US actions as excuses to boycott the talks. North Korea has objected to an upcoming US naval exercise in the region, as well as a new U.S. law that expands support for North Korean asylum-seekers.

On Friday, North Korea said both measures were further proof of U.S. hostility.

Mr. Powell will visit South Korea on Monday.

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