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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Sees Progress on N. Korea

SEOUL, South Korea -- The United States is looking to build on momentum created by North Korea shutting down its nuclear reactor and will consider removing it from a list of terrorism-sponsoring states, the main U.S. envoy on the issue said Monday.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said Washington had a busy agenda for steps that can be made in the reconciliation process as Pyongyang lays aside its nuclear weapons program. That would include talks on ending the 54-year cease-fire that halted the Korean War, as well as setting up a regional security forum in northeast Asia.

"If North Korea wants to denuclearize, all of this stuff is very doable," Hill said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed on Monday that the North had shut down its sole functioning nuclear reactor at Yongbyon as it said it had done Saturday, the first tangible progress from years of arms negotiations involving the United States and other regional powers.

"Our inspectors are there. They verified the shutting down of the reactor yesterday," IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in Bangkok ahead of an event sponsored by Thailand's Science Ministry. "The process has been going quite well and we have had good cooperation from North Korea. It's a good step in the right direction."

The next moves come this week as Hill was set to travel Tuesday to Beijing.