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Press Stakeout Before U.S.-DPRK Bilateral Working Group Meeting

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Lobby of the Hotel de La Paix
Geneva, Switzerland
September 1, 2007

QUESTION: How about the possible food aid to the DPRK?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: There was an announcement made last night, and obviously it reflects our concerns about the humanitarian situation and our desire to be helpful.

QUESTION: What is your goal for today’s talks?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We are going to cover issues in the bilateral relationship and get ready for the next phase.

QUESTION: Ambassador Hill, I know there are a number of issues you want to talk about over the next couple of days. Could you tell us how you might be breaking them up between today and tomorrow, what you’d like to tackle first?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think we are going to do that in the first session, figure out what to address today and tomorrow. But remember this is in the framework of the five working groups. This is our bilateral working group. This is the fourth of five working groups. The fifth will be next week, with the Japan working group, and so our duties in this are to discuss the process of our bilateral relationship. That is what we are going to do

QUESTION: (Inaudible) reports on enriched uranium –

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We have said for a long time that this issue needs to be resolved, and obviously it is an issue that will come up in the Six-Party meeting. But it will also come up in our meeting as well.

QUESTION: Do you think you are going to get the answers today?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Oh, we might get some feedback, but I want to stress that a lot of this has to be done in the Six-Party context. That is not a bilateral issue.

QUESTION: Are you planning an outside lunch today?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I don’t think so. I think it is just sandwiches to avoid you! (Laughter)

QUESTION: What are you going to do today, this first morning?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We are going to try to set the agenda and figure out how we can most efficiently use these two days here in Geneva. So we will do that first thing this morning and then we will see how things go.

QUESTION: Are you pessimistic or optimistic?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I am neither. I am just doing my job.

QUESTION: Are you expecting to achieve a specific action plan?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We hope to set up a little agenda for the next couple of days and see what we can do on the bilateral relationship. We have a lot of issues to discuss.

Released on September 1, 2007

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