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Press Stakeout Upon Arrival in Australia

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Sydney International Airport
Sydney, Australia
September 4, 2007

QUESTION: (Inaudible – regarding removing North Korea from the terrorism list)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: First of all, we had a lengthy discussion of all our bilateral issues, as well as progress in Six Parties. And I think that -- as everybody knows – back in February we agreed to begin the process, and I would say we made some further progress in this bilateral meeting. But whether they get off will depend on further denuclearization. So they are not off these lists, but whether they do get off will depend on steps that they need to take on further denuclearization. We had a very good discussion about that and a very good understanding on that.

QUESTION: Do you have a timetable for that?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We do have a timetable, but we have to make sure we can make that timetable. Okay?

QUESTION: And are you going to meet Mr. Sasae?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I hope so. I talked to him before I got on the airplane in Frankfurt to brief him. So that would have been -- I was on the plane for 21 hours, so I am a little confused as to what time it was. But I think it was early Monday morning Tokyo time. So I did talk to Mr. Sasae then, and I look forward to seeing him here in Sydney. He told me he was going to get on the plane later on Monday to come here.

QUESTION: What about economic compensation?


QUESTION: Economic compensation.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, we didn’t discuss economic compensation so much. That was done in the economic/energy working group that took place in early August. We discussed our bilateral relationship, which I think is what the Japan-North Korea Working Group will do this week in Ulaanbaatar. So I think we have a process that’s going forward. I think we have some understanding of getting moving on the issue of the declaration of their nuclear programs, and I think we have a good understanding of how we are going to proceed with addressing the problems of the facilities -- that is, disabling the facilities.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) say that they get off the list of the terrorists.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: It depends on further denuclearization. We have some pretty good ideas about how it will happen. But they are certainly not off the list now, because it depends on further steps they are going to have to make.

All right? I’d like to go to my hotel and get some sleep. Thank you very much.

Released on September 4, 2007

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