Fourth Round of Six-Party Talks: Evening Transit St. Regis HotelChristopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
August 6, 2005
A/S HILL: Hi, I donít have any news. Look, I think the Chinese government will make an announcement soon, maybe tomorrow morning, and it would be very impolite for someone who is a guest here to make the announcement for the Chinese government. So, I really donít want to announce what the Chinese government is going to announce, okay?
QUESTION: Since we donít know what it is, can you tell us if there was any talk about a recess and what kind of recess is presented as an option?
A/S HILL: Well, oh dear, itís really not polite for me to talk about Ė I mean the Chinese government needs to announce the status of the talks, and all I can tell you is we have worked very, very hard. The entire Ė my delegation has worked very hard. I would say all delegations have worked very hard. This is not an easy matter. The issue is can we get to an agreement? And, what I want to assure you of, is we are going to work very hard (sound of cell phone ringing) to turn off that cell phone (sounds of laughter) and when we complete that task, we will truly try to reach an agreement. But, it is not polite for me to make an announcement that is really properly the announcement to be made by the host.
QUESTION: Was there any progress today?
A/S HILL: I would say there was not a whole lot of progress today.
QUESTION: Without announcing what the Chinese will announce, if there is a recess, what will the U.S. be doing during that time?
A/S HILL: I can assure you we are very interested in reaching an agreement. It is important. We are very interested in working with all our partners. We have worked very well and continue to work very well with the Chinese government. We work very well with all the partners in this and we want to find a settlement, a solution. I can assure you Ė this is not easy, but the U..S Government is absolutely dedicated to finding a solution to this, and we continue to be dedicated to finding a solution.
QUESTION: If this round of talks ends in a recess, what do you think is the main cause of that?
A/S HILL: Letís first have the Chinese government announce, and then after thereís an announcement by the Chinese government about what is happening, I would be happy to talk to you about things like that, okay? Itís really a question of being gracious and having some manners. The situation is that the Chinese government has done a lot of work. They have worked very hard, both their foreign policy team, but also just their organizational team and it would be rather impolite of me to be announcing things that they should be announcing.
QUESTION: How is the reaction in Washington right now?
A/S HILL: Itís very early in the day and theyíre still reading the newspapers and checking the baseball scores.
QUESTION: Secretary, how was the bilateral meeting with North Korea and did you talk Ė
A/S HILL: Well, we did have a bilateral meeting with the North Koreans and I would say it was a good meeting because the purpose of the meeting was to make sure, make absolutely sure, that we understood what their position is and what our position is. And, in that regard, I thought it was a very, very good meeting. You know, in these tough negotiations itís important that you understand precisely what the other sideís position is. So, it was very useful.
QUESTION: When are you leaving Beijing?
A/S HILL: As soon as it is clear that itís time to leave.
QUESTION: When are you planning on coming back?
A/S Hill: I donít know.
QUESTION: agreement (inaudible) text
A/S HILL: Yes, there was a lot of discussion about the text. Look, I know you want me to give a press conference on the over all state of the talks, but it is really a matter of simple manners that I wait for the Chinese government and when the Chinese government has an announcement I will be happy to come here and talk to you for as long as you have questions, okay?
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, on the fundamental issue which you have tackled for a couple of days, still North Korea on one side and the other five parties on the other side Ė this structure still the same?
A/S HILL: Well, this is, what I presume what your talking about is the issue of nuclear, civilian nuclear energy and the continuation of nuclear energy and the D.P.R.K.ís interest in having a light water reactor which is something that they felt they should have in the Agreed Framework discussions, and I would say, in answer to your question, that it is yes, the D.P.R.K. still has a view that the other five countries, frankly speaking, do not share.
QUESTION: Is there any possibility to narrow the Ė
A/S HILL: Well, I want to stress weíve been here for Ė I lose track now, but I think it was something like thirteen days Ė weíve been here for thirteen days, and you know, I think thereís been a - when you really have a dialogue and an understanding that we have not had before, you need to give some credit to some people, especially the Chinese hosts for working so hard, for doing so much in the area of the actually agreement, that itís a substantive area, and also in organizing it. So, what we have tried to do is reduce the differences and, as I said to the previous question, to understand, with great precision, what those differences are. So, the question is, in reducing differences, and in understanding the remaining differences, can we get to an agreement? Because, I want to emphasize that the issue of nuclear weapons in the D.P.R.K. must be solved. We have options for dealing with this, but there is one option we do not have, and that is the option of simply walking away. This issue needs to be solved, and it will be solved.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, can you confirm that thereís going to be an 8:30 plenary tomorrow morning in which this announcement will be made.
A/S HILL: Thereís an 8:30 plenary? You mean, in just a few hours Iím going to have to go out to an 8:30 plenary? Thank you very much for giving me that information. No, Iím sure what you say is right and Iím sure that after that thereíll be an announcement of where we are.
QUESTION: So, you confirm that tomorrow morning there is a meeting.
A/S HILL: Well, Iím going out to the site and I think there is an 8:30 meeting, but beyond that I donít know and Iím not willing to confirm anything beyond that, okay?
QUESTION: Secretary Hill, do you have any concerns that a recess will undermine the momentum of the talks?
A/S HILL: Look, you know youíve been here too long. Itís very obvious you guys have been sitting here in this lobby too long. I mean I think we need to make sure we solve this problem. Iím sure we have a Ė the United States government has been working very closely with the Chinese government, very closely with all the other parties, and Iím sure that weíll find a way to solve this problem.
QUESTION: Mr. Ambassador, regardless of the outcome - we donít know what it is - but did something happen in the last couple of days in terms of head to head U.S. vis-a-vis D.P.R.K. that shifted the momentum in a way.
A/S HILL: Well, you know, Iíll talk about all that sort of stuff after thereís an announcement. All I can say is weíve really been trying to reach an agreement. Itís been very important to us. We need to solve this issue. We have a great political will to solve this issue, but letís wait for the announcement and then after the announcement I can Ė at that point, with the way ahead more clear, I can talk to you as Iíve been talking to you in the last two weeks. So, if you excuse me, I really need to get ready for an early morning meeting. Thank you very much.
Released on August 8, 2005