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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: Late Evening Transit St. Regis Hotel

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Beijing, China
August 3, 2005

QUESTION: Have you got any good news for us?

A/S HILL: No, I donít have anyÖI donít have any bad news either. I just donít have any exciting news. We just came back from the site of the negotiations. We had a good meeting with the Chinese. My delegation met with the Chinese delegation. We discussed our own ideas for the draft and weíre confident the Chinese are incorporating those ideas. We also talked about the fact that the Chinese are currently, at a very senior level, fully engaged in trying to get other parties signed on to the latest draft. There are some very senior officials from the foreign ministry there, working very late hours, cause itís not early, about 10:30. So, weíre confident that the Chinese will continue to work very hard to get the D.P.R.K. signed on to their draft as they have already done with all the other participants. So, the status of the situation right now is that the U.S. and the other participants have essentially agreed with the Chinese draft, and the Chinese are working very hard to complete the job, and that is to get the D.P.R.K. signed on.

QUESTION: Have you heard any response from North Korea?

A/S HILL: I have not, but I have not been in touch with them today or even yesterday. Since yesterday the Chinese tabled a draft, asked us all to go back to capitals. We did that last night. We gave our response earlier today and I assume the D.P.R.K. has done that, and I know the Chinese are still working with the D.P.R.K. I have been in touch with other countries. As I mentioned earlier, we had lunch with the Russian delegation. In fact, we saw members of the Russian delegation later tonight. Weíre in constant communication with the R.O.K. delegation, also the Japanese. So, everyone has signed on but as I understand it the Chinese are still working to get the D.P.R.K. on.

QUESTION: What do you think North Korea is concerned about?

A/S HILL: Youíll have to ask the North Koreans. I think itís -- go to their embassy and knock on the door. Iím sure theyíd be happy to talk with you. Clearly, the North Koreans have got to make an important decision. Are they going to try to continue to develop these nuclear programs or are they going to choose another route? They have to make this choice. It seems they are having difficulty with that. Itís an important choice. Iím not going to pressure them. Itís not for me to pressure them. Itís for them to come to the understanding that their countryís future very much depends on choosing the route that will open them up to the world and allow the D.P.R.K. to begin to enjoy some success. Itís a country which, without going into details, has clearly had some problems over the years -- problems managing a lot of issues -- such as their food supply, health supply, road system, etc. There are a lot of people in the world that feel they should perhaps pay a little more attention to those problems and perhaps get out of the nuclear business. So, theyíve got to make that decision. Again, Iím not going to pressure them, itís up to them.

QUESTION: Is it possible for Washington to offer another revision to the draft?

A/S HILL: You know we have really worked very hard with the Chinese on their drafts. Weíve shown a lot of flexibility. I want to emphasize not just the U.S. -- other partners have - the R.O.K., Republic of Korea certainly has. The Japanese have worked very hard to incorporate their interests in this process. Itís not easy -- itís not an easy job to do this and it think itís time for the D.P.R.K. delegation to look very hard and figure out what they need to do. But again, I donít want to pressure them. Itís up to them.

QUESTION: Ambassador, do you think the Chinese might (inaudible)?

A/S HILL: They have had some ongoing discussions with the D.P.R.K. on their draft. I think they were talking to them actually earlier this evening and they did not get specific on precisely what the differences are, but clearly they are not signed on to some of the basic elements that weíre talking about. You know, there are, from time to time, issues that have to do with the wordsmithing, and other issues but it appears that the D.P.R.K. has some fundamental issues regarding some of the principles of the document. So, weíll have to see.

QUESTION: (inaudible) if they donít take this theyíre done?

A/S HILL: Well, again this is a very important issue. I think we all need to show a little patience, a little perseverance. You know, Iíve got a lot of patience, a fair amount of energy, Iím fine -- clean shirts too. So, you know I think you have to be a little patient. Iím not willing to, at this point, say when this process ends. Weíre certainly taking the cue from our hosts, the Chinese, who have done a really magnificent job of organizing this and working this very tough issue. So, weíll have to see. I canít remember what day it is -- Wednesday is it? Iím fine. Iím okay.

QUESTION: At this meeting tonight with the Chinese, were they asking the Americans to make some kind of changes in this?

A/S HILL: No, the Chinese weíre kind of relating where they were with some of the issues with the D.P.R.K.. I donít want to get too specific because these are internal discussions but, I wanted to make sure that it was clear to everybody, including the D.P.R.K. that the United States would do all we could, and all we can. As you know, Iíve met a lot of people, met a lot of delegations, worked with all of them, tried to understand where everybody is. So, you know at this point weíre at a situation where the Chinese have put out a draft and theyíre kind of expecting people to respond to whatís in the draft there. So, weíll have to see.

QUESTION: Whatís the agenda for tomorrow, do you know?

A/S HILL: Well, again we take our cue from our hosts. I think the other countries have already signed on to the draft so clearly the focus of the Chinese efforts is with the D.P.R.K. right now. So, I think weíll have to see how that goes and where that takes us beyond there -- hard to say at this point.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, is there any possibility that China will modify the present text and provide another, you know, a fifth draft?

A/S HILL: Well, you know, again without getting into specifics because these are tough issues and there are traditional diplomatic channels and I know Kyodo news agency would like to know everything before I do, but you know, I canít tell you everything. I think all of us have really shown flexibility in addressing this. The question is, what needs to happen to get to an agreement? The U.S., weíre essentially on board with the Chinese draft. The Russians are essentially on board. Japan is essentially on board. R.O.K. is essentially on board. So, letís see where the D.P.R.K. is. Again, I donít want to pressure them. You know they have to make this decision. Itís an important decision. If you ask me, as important as it is, itís pretty obvious, too but weíll let them come to their decision. I mean clearly this is a country suffering from a profound number of problems and probably they ought to get on to solving those problems and none of those problems can be solved with nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are not going to pave the roads. Theyíre not going to build health care. Theyíre not going to build schools. Nuclear weapons can do very little for the top 1000 problems that the D.P.R.K. suffers from. So, again, they have to make this decision. They donít need advice from me. They donít need pressure from me. They just need to take a little time and make their decision.

QUESTION: (inaudible) recess (inaudible)?

A/S HILL: No, we didnít talk about that at all. I think there is a sense among the delegations, certainly among my delegation, that weíve all worked very hard. Weíve all come here with a spirit of trying to reach an agreement, a spirit of give and take negotiation, very much a spirit of mutual respect with all the delegations. Iíve met numerous times with all delegations, including the D.P.R.K., a subject that I gather was rather newsworthy, but I donít quite understand why because it was all in the context of these six party talks. So, weíve worked very hard and weíd kind of like it to come to fruition with an agreement. It makes a lot of sense for the D.P.R.K., and it makes a lot of sense for the rest of us.

QUESTION: How long do you think the final result will take?

A/S HILL: Oh, you keep asking me how long and I know youíre sitting there holding that heavy microphone, but you know I just donít know. I just donít know. I canít even make a guess. I donít want to raise your hopes. I just donít know. So, hang in there.

QUESTION: Are you planning to meet with the North Koreans tomorrow?

A/S HILL: I have no plans to meet with the North Koreans. Iím sure the Chinese are doing so.

QUESTION: When you there tonight, did you (inaudible) the North Koreans (inaudible)?

A/S HILL: I never actually saw them. Itís actually a pretty big complex. I think -- must have been because when I arrived there I think the Chinese were actually in the room with them and we met the Chinese in a different part of the building. So, it might have been that they were there at the same time.

QUESTION: (inaudible) shuttle back and forth?

A/S HILL: No, no, there was no notion of that. At one point they talked to us and then they went back and talked to the D.P.R.K., but it was not a shuttle.

QUESTION: So no one else in the delegation (inaudible)

A/S HILL: No, not tonight, no.

QUESTION: Mr. Ambassador, are you meeting them tomorrow? Any plans?

QUESTION: No, no plans to meet the D.P.R.K. Weíll certainly listen to what the Chinese have in store for us. If the Chinese would like to meet with us, of course weíre ready. There was a draft, as I said, put out yesterday. Thereís not a lot of negotiating left. Itís a couple of issues that the Chinese need to resolve with the D.P.R.K.

The Chinese know our position. D.P.R.K. knows our position. Again, I donít want to get into specifics but our positions are well known. Weíve worked really hard to get those positions reflected in the draft and weíd like to see those reflected in the draft thatís finally accepted by all the parties. Hey, I wish I could talk to you longer, but I donít have a lot more to say. So, you now know pretty much what I know. Thank you very much and see you tomorrow. Bye.

QUESTION: Excuse me, do you mean that now the position is I think you have already raised the terms and then decided by the D.P.R.K. to accept it or not?

A/S HILL: Well, I donít think anything is so-called take it or leave it, but I think that it is time for the D.P.R.K. to respond to the Chinese draft within the spirit that the rest of us have.

Released on August 4, 2005

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