Fourth Round of Six-Party Talks: Return to Beijing HotelChristopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
July 26, 2005
QUESTION: Can you say something about today’s talks between the U.S. and North Korea?
A/S HILL: Well, it’s nothing special – we had a plenary this morning and then of course we had a head of delegation meeting. Then we met with all the delegations and tried to figure out what we’re going to do over the next couple of days. So, we were talking about what the elements are for this statement of principles that we want to put together, and had a long discussion about it. I think everyone had an opportunity to put their issues on the table. Good discussion, but I hate to discourage those of you who are waiting so patiently in the hotel lobby every day, but this may take a little longer than you would want or I want. It’s going to take, uh…
QUESTION: Could you tell us something about the North Korea bilateral contact? I know you cannot brief the media, but…an idea about what happened?
A/S HILL: Well, again, it was very businesslike. We avoided any rhetoric. It was an effort to try to get all the issues on the table, make sure that we know what was important to each of us. So, you know, it’s positive in that sense. But it also showed that we have a way to go in terms of getting, uh, getting you guys out of this hotel lobby. It’s going to take a while.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, did you receive any response from the North Koreans about the June proposal today?
A/S HILL: Yeah, they talked about the June proposal, they talked about their concern about the sequencing of the proposal and the importance they attached to sequencing where they don’t want to have to have obligations ahead of other people’s obligations. So, we had some discussion on that. I suspect we’ll do more tomorrow because we’ll have our plenary session as well.
Today’s plenary session was, of course, devoted to the set piece speeches, and then the head of delegations meeting was devoted to some of the – I won’t say administrative issues, but modalities – how we’re going to proceed. So, tomorrow we’ll probably have more of a free exchange among the six. So, we’ll work as fast as we can, try to get you out of this lobby as soon as we can and in the meantime, I’m going to go up to my room and maybe do a little reading. So I’ll see you all later.
QUESTION: Their response was positive or negative today?
A/S HILL: I don’t want to characterize their response except that obviously they’ve been concerned about the sequencing of the issues. I don’t want to call it positive or negative, it was just their response. You’ll have to ask them. See you later!
Released on August 3, 2005