Morning Walkthrough With Reporters Upon Departure From Six-Party TalksChristopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
August 18, 2007
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Hi.
QUESTION: What’s the big news overnight?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Red Sox won 8-4 [laughter], so they’re six games up on the Yankees. Is there anything else?
QUESTION: How confident are you on reaching an agreement on North Korea?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think you need to look at all of these working groups as kind of building blocks for the next plenary. What we needed was to share ideas about how we’re going to disable and what the declaration is going to look like. So that was the main task in this denuclearization working group. I would say, in that sense, we had some very good discussions and covered a lot of ground. In so far as the denuclearization part of the next plenary is concerned, I think we’re in good shape with that. We’ll have to see when we regroup in Beijing, probably at the end of August or more likely the beginning of September.
QUESTION: Are the experts continuing the discussion or consultations?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: They’ve been exchanging ideas on denuclearization – I’m sorry, on disabling. I think discussions will, in fact, continue.
QUESTION: Will continue until the next plenary?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: And so I think when we get to the plenary, we should be able to put something together and maybe not turn it into one of those one week-long, blood pressure-raising events.
QUESTION: Are they going to meet physically, or is it going to be through consultations?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, consultations.
QUESTION: Wu Dawei mentioned yesterday that there are lots of problems to be solved technically and politically until we’re going to reach the agreement. Do you share this view?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I would never dispute Chairman Wu Dawei. I think what he’s referring to, of course, is the fact that we have to address some things in our bilateral working group. Obviously, we have to have an agreed menu on these denuclearization issues. We have to see how we do when we get back together.
I have a flight to catch. I’m going to Tokyo, and then I’ll go onto Washington. So I hope all of you were able to get reservations. [Laughter]
Okay, see you later.
Released on August 19, 2007