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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs > Releases > Remarks > 2005 East Asian and Pacific Affairs Remarks, Testimony, and Speeches

Fourth Round of Six-Party Talks: Evening Transit St. Regis

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Beijing China
July 31, 2005

QUESTION: Is there a possibility that the joint declaration of intentions is to be included in the joint statement in this round?

A/S HILL: I don't want to talk about what's in the joint statement. What's going on today is they had a drafting session based on the Chinese draft. The Chinese draft was created on the basis of input from all the parties. So, the Chinese put together the different ideas from all the parties and came up with a draft. They distributed it on
Saturday, and then today on Sunday we began a discussion about it with all the six parties sitting around a table discussing it. Everyone had some contributions. Of course there are many disagreements. This is very normal whether you're discussing nuclear weapons or textiles. You get all kinds of disagreements when you get around a table that size, with that many delegations. So they worked it through for several hours, and then the Chinese took the comments and are planning to come out with a second draft and to go through the exercise tomorrow.

This is a very typical negotiating exercise – whether you're doing economic issues or business issues, this is how it's done. So what you try to do every day is to reduce the number of differences and increase the number of agreements. I would say we've – this process is going very normally, and that's a positive sign. I know everyone wants to know about progress, and I'm reluctant to talk about progress until we have an agreement. Once we have an agreement, we can then go back and see when the key moments were, when the progress was really registered. So, at this point, I really can't talk about progress except to say we do have a process, the process is working. We arrived here Monday night. We began general discussions. We had several days of general discussions. On the basis of general discussions the different delegations put together drafts. On the basis of the drafts the Chinese hosts put together one draft. On the basis of the one draft the different delegations have been working to try to find a draft that everybody can support. This takes a while and frankly it's going quite normally.

QUESTION: Then will there be a second draft tomorrow?

A/S HILL: I believe – we'll have to ask the Chinese – I believe there will be a second draft to be discussed tomorrow. The second draft, presumably one that takes the comments in on the first draft. So, this is a process where you try to narrow the differences and increase the areas where people actually agree. And, everyone is a full participant in this process, including – especially the D.P.R.K. So, we'll see.

QUESTION: Is any progress made on the question of sequencing and timing?

A/S HILL: I don't want to get into specific elements, because until you have everything agreed you really have nothing agreed. Obviously, the issue of sequencing has been a big discussion point, and obviously there's been efforts to bridge those gaps. But, it's not a useful process to try to extract elements of what we're talking about and say "There's progress there," if there hasn't been progress elsewhere, because ultimately nothing will be agreed unless all is agreed. So it takes a little time here.

QUESTION: How many brackets do you have? How many brackets?

A/S HILL: I suspect there are a lot of brackets. But you're quite right – bracketology is what you ought to be studying here, and indeed this is going to take a while. We haven't even had a negotiation for the last year, and now we're looking at a single text. Now I want to emphasize that even if we reach agreement on these sets of goals and principles, we then have to move ahead and try to actually put it together in an agreement, so that will also take some time. So we've got some time to go here.

QUESTION: What is the most significant disagreement?

A/S HILL: Every disagreement is significant until it's resolved. I've been in negotiations where I thought some disagreement was going to be easily solved, and then that turned out to be the most difficult one that held us up for several days. So, I don't want to talk about what's the most significant one. Also, it gives away some of my
negotiating position as well.

QUESTION: Mr. Hill, who did you meet with today?

A/S HILL: Today I had meetings with the Japanese, Republic of Korea, and the Chinese. Tomorrow I would anticipate also seeing the D.P.R.K. delegation as well as the Chinese delegation. And, of course, we're in constant communication through the day. So, there's a lot of discussion.

QUESTION: I take it there was some discussion of South Korea's electricity offer today?

A/S HILL: The electricity offer is of course in the draft agreement, as it should be because it's an offer, and I can be pretty certain that it'll be in the final draft as well. So the answer to your question is yes.

QUESTION: You said agreement…?

A/S HILL: I'm sorry – draft, the Chinese draft – that is, the set of principles. When there's an agreement on principles I'm sure in those principles will be a mention of Korea's very significant proposal to provide electricity.

QUESTION: Is the U.S. buying into that offer as well?

A/S HILL: The United States has been very supportive, and publicly so, about the R.O.K. offer to supply electricity through conventional means.

QUESTION: Ambassador, what's the purpose of the consultation with the Japanese (inaudible) tonight?

A/S HILL: There was a – earlier in the day, I had a meeting here at the hotel with Ken Sasae. Later tonight, there was a discussion between the U.S. and Japanese delegations on the discussions today in an effort to try and coordinate our policies wherever possible. We're going to do the same thing with the R.O.K. delegation as well. It's very important to try to stay in close communication to make sure everyone understands – is getting the same sort of information. So, we try to be in contact with these delegations. We have had – delegation to delegation meetings – the United States, I know, has had some 28 or 29 bilateral meetings of delegations and I think we'll continue that process and what you saw today with the Japanese is an example of it.

QUESTION: Are you on the same page with Japanese the issue, like human rights?

A/S HILL: I don't want to get into specific elements because all those things are under discussion, but I can assure you we have some very good understanding with the Japanese delegation. I've had very, very close contacts over not only the last few days but also weeks and months with Ken Sasae so we have a very good, excellent relationship
with the Japanese delegation.

QUESTION: Secretary Hill, will economic cooperation with North Korea be included in the agreement?

A/S HILL: I think the issue of economic cooperation will be included in the principles and will be included in a final agreement because this is one of the elements that has been discussed for some time. It was in our June '04 proposal, so to be sure that will eventually find its way into the final version, I'm sure.

QUESTION: How about the human rights issue?

A/S HILL: The trouble with mentioning some issues is then you'll ask me about others, and then you'll ask me to give you a draft, you know, a Xerox copy, and then – I'm not prepared to get into all the specific elements of what we're doing, but we're doing many, many different elements.

QUESTION: Mr. Hill, at the South Korean briefing today, there was some discussion of a simultaneous action plan, and there seems to be some confusion about what that means.

A/S HILL: I'm not sure what you mean by a simultaneous action plan, or even a "sim"-ultaneous action plan. What do you mean?

QUESTION: I'd just read a couple of reports and heard some of our colleagues – there was some sort of discussion of simultaneous gestures or agreements –

A/S HILL: Well, again, this goes to the fundamental question of – D.P.R.K. is being asked to do something, and then other members, other delegations or other countries are being asked to do things, and then how do we put that all together. So, I guess you can call that an action plan, or sequencing, or whatever. If you guys are just patient, and if we get an agreement, then you can publish it your newspapers and you can study it to death. OK, thank you very much, I need to get some sleep because it's going to be a long day tomorrow. Thank you very much.

Released on August 3, 2005

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