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North Korea's Aid Requests Hold Up Nuclear Talks

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

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NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports.

ANTHONY KUHN: U.S. negotiator Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said that the U.S. understands that Pyongyang needs energy assistance, but he emphasized that any deal should focus on nuclear disarmament, not energy aid.

CHRISTOPHER HILL: We can help them through the provision of some assistance. But that assistance shouldn't be used as a substitute for dealing with the root cause of their isolation, which is their effort to try to develop these weapons.

KUHN: Anthony Kuhn, NPR News, Beijing. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.