Perry to discuss North Korea in Peking talks

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The Independent Online
PEKING - The US Defense Secretary, William Perry, arrived in Peking yesterday for talks that will cover North Korea's nuclear programme, the conversion of China's military factories to civilian use, human rights and China's nuclear tests, writes Teresa Poole. It is the first visit by a US defense secretary since before 1989, when military ties were suspended in the wake of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

The four-day visit coincides with US negotiations with North Korea, which Mr Perry yesterday described as moving towards a 'very complicated . . . very far-reaching' agreement that would entail 'working with the North Koreans for years and years to come'. China is North Korea's closest ally and might have a role in implementing an agreement.

Improved US-Sino military co-operation is the latest manifestation of warmer relations between the two countries, but Mr Perry said he would raise human-rights concerns.

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