U.S. Envoy Upbeat on N. Korea Talks

The top U.S. envoy to talks with North Korea said Friday in Moscow that he was optimistic that negotiations on the Communist nation's nuclear disarmament would be successful but refused to say when it could be achieved.

"It's a very difficult and ... a slow-moving process, but we feel very positive," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said during talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin.

"We hope that we can work together in the future as we get on to what we hope will be the final phase," he said.

Hill praised close cooperation with Moscow on the issue. Russia is part of the six-nation talks on the North Korean nuclear program which began in 2003.

The nuclear talks have been fraught with repeated setbacks and delays. North Korea has stopped making plutonium and began disabling its nuclear facilities so they cannot be quickly restarted but still has a stockpile of radioactive material.