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Remarks Upon Departure From Japan

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Haneda Airport
Tokyo, Japan
November 29, 2007

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: As you know, the declaration, when it is given, will be given to the chair of the six parties -- that is to the Chinese. We've had some informal discussions about it, and I look forward to doing that when I'm in Pyongyang. But the declaration will be given out in connection with the Six-Party meeting, which we are expecting to be the latter part of next week. It's up to the Chinese. I know they're trying to organize all the participants to be there for the sixth of December.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We have not seen the declaration. The declaration is to be given to the Chinese, not to the U.S., to the Chinese. We have continued over the past months -- really including and especially in Shenyang in August -- we've had discussions about what should be in the declaration. We're continuing to do that. I look forward to doing that when we get to Pyongyang on Monday.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think we felt that the declaration needs to be discussed at a heads of delegation meeting. So, I'm sure it will be conveyed to the Chinese in time for the head of delegation meeting. But, it's with the heads of delegation that the actual substance, the actual text of a first draft, needs to be discussed.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: My understanding [inaudible] Monday, the plan is to speak with the disabling team down in Yongbyon and meet with the Koreans in Yongbyon and get a firsthand idea of how the process is working. We’ve understood that we’ve had very good cooperation. As you know, the IAEA has representatives there too. I'd like the opportunity to meet with them and really thank them for their very hard work on this process. And I think later on Monday, I'll begin to have some discussions in Pyongyang. I think, first, my main host will be Mr. Kim Kye Gwan.

QUESTION: Are any other officials other than Kim Kye Gwan expected?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I’m expecting to get a schedule when I actually get there. That’s certainly the DPRK way -- wait for the person to get there and give them the schedule.

QUESTION: Do you expect progress on disablement?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We’ve been getting reports on a daily basis about how the disablement activity has been going, and the reports have been very positive. They've been positive from two points of view. One has been the considerable cooperation with the DPRK officials and technicians at Yongbyon. And the second is that we have a list of measures that were undertaken, and we are making progress in getting through that list. These include disabling activities, and severing steam valves, and this type of technical thing. And so for me, it's a real opportunity to get there, and not only thank the people involved but to see -- in my own non-technical way -- to see how these technical issues are being handled.

QUESTION: Do those steam valves belong to a reactor or another facility?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Again, I’ll be in a much better position to answer your question after I've been there. But we have been conducting disabling activities at all three installations -- that is fuel fabrication, reactor, and reprocessing facilities. So, we've done a little in each, and I'm looking forward to understanding better how it has been going. Okay? So, I've got to catch my plane. Good to see you all.



Released on November 29, 2007

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