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Bill Richardson Hosts N. Korean Delegation

Last Updated at 3:05 p.m. EDT

Gov. Bill Richardson said his meeting with a delegation of North Korean diplomats is a "hopeful sign" of improving relations with the reclusive nation.

Richardson met Wednesday with a pair of representatives from the North Korean mission to the United Nations.

During a brief appearance with reporters at the New Mexico governor's mansion, Richardson declined to comment on the substance of the talks or say why the North Koreans had requested the meeting with him.

A spokesman for the governor said the meetings are expected to continue throughout the day.

Richardson had dinner with the North Koreans on Tuesday night.

The North Koreans had requested the visit, but the governor's office said Richardson will not be negotiating nor will he be representing the Obama administration.

The delegation, which includes Minister Myong Gil Kim and Councilor Jong Ho Paek, also is scheduled to receive briefings on renewable energy initiatives in New Mexico on Thursday.

Richardson was ambassador to the United Nations in the Clinton administration and for years has served as a roving diplomatic troubleshooter, including missions to North Korea, Sudan, Cuba and Iraq.

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