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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: Mid Morning Transit St. Regis Hotel

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Beijing, China
August 4, 2005

A/S HILL: Good morning. Great to see you again. Iím off to the Embassy. Weíll have an internal meeting, and then Iíll go out to the negotiating site. I have a meeting scheduled with the Chinese. Weíll see if they have some news for us and weíll go from there. You know, I can imagine for you all here itís a little difficult to understand why one or two pages of principles are so difficult to get down on paper. But, you know, just because something is a principle doesnít mean it can be written in a way thatís unclear. That is, we really need clarity on these principles. Principles, they may be a general way of expressing something, but it doesnít mean that they shouldnít be clear. So, itís precisely the clarity that weíre seeking and that is so necessary. We cannot have a situation where the D.P.R.K. pretends to abandon its nuclear programs and we pretend to believe them. We need to have a situation where we know precisely what they have agreed to do Ė what they have agreed to abandon, so that we can precisely react to that. So, even though these principles look easy and there are only two pages worth, there does need to be clarity of thought and clarity of purpose Ė and itís the clarity that is taking some time to sort out. So, thank you very much and look forward to seeing you again.

QUESTION: What was the reaction in Washington?

A/S HILL: The reaction in Washington? Well, I think everybody in Washington very much wants to see us reach an agreement if we can -- an agreement on these principles so we can move on. I think everyone in Washington would very much like to see us get on with these, try to reach an agreement on these principles so that we can then get right back to negotiating the final document. The Chinese hosts have worked very hard on this. It has not been easy for them. Theyíve had a relationship with the D.P.R.K. for a long time and this has not been easy for them. But, we feel this is the right approach. This is right for all the six parties, including the D.P.R.K.

QUESTION: Who are you meeting today?

A/S HILL: Iím going to meet with the Chinese delegation. Iíve already talked this morning with my Japanese counterpart, with Mr. Sasae, who you may have noticed just came into the lobby here. Iím sure Iíll be meeting with the other parties as well.

QUESTION: Sir, do you think there will be a fifth draft?

A/S HILL: I donít know, I mean I think we have agreement among five parties on the Chinese draft. Iím not sure we need additional drafts. I think we need clarity of purpose and I think the D.P.R.K. has to make some decisions on that.

QUESTION: Do you think the fourth draft is very clear?

A/S HILL: We had some suggestions for it and I think the other parties did too, but I think we all agree itís a very good draft. It represents a lot of work by the Chinese. You know, Iíve been in some of these situations before and I know how difficult it is to try to put together a draft that everyone can work off of. So, the Chinese have done a great job and I give them a lot of credit. Theyíve gotten most of us on board to their draft and letís see how theyíre doing with the DPRK.

QUESTION: So nothing now you can (inaudible) the D.P.R.K.?

A/S HILL: Well, the Chinese asked to see me and Iíll be seeing them in a couple of hours. We continue to be very active. A couple of days ago the Chinese gave us a draft, which was described as the draft that should be the basis of the final. So, we responded. The Russian Federation responded. The R.O.K., Republic of Korea responded. Japan, Government of Japan responded. So, letís see what the D.P.R.K. says. The D.P.R.K. has got to make some very basic decisions. Itís not easy for them. I donít want to pressure them, but theyíve got to be able to do it.

QUESTION: How long are you willing to stay here, as long as it takes to reach an agreement?

A/S HILL: Well, as long as we feel itís useful to be here. We believe it was useful to be here yesterday, and I think it will be useful to be here today. So, weíll have to see.

QUESTION: How long can you wait for North Korea to give an answer to the draft?

A/S HILL: I donít know at this point. We have to see. You know, I hope -- presumably their delegation is getting instructions. I hope theyíve asked for instructions. We have to see. Weíll be here as long as it is useful to be here.

QUESTION: Whatís going to happen if North Korea rejects the draft?

A/S HILL: Why are you asking me a hypothetical question? You know, no one in the State Department has ever answered one of those. So, Iím not going to be the first. But look, this makes a lot of sense for the D.P.R.K. Theyíve got thousands of problems and nuclear weapons help them with none of them. Nuclear weapons donít solve a single DPRK problem. Even the security issue that they talk about, nuclear weapons have nothing to do with helping their security. So, thereís a certain resounding logic to all of this and you just hope the people who can think through these things can come to the conclusion that everyone else has come to. All right, thank you very much. Go get some more coffee. Boy, you must have had a lot of coffee the last few days. See you all later.

Released on August 4, 2005

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