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Press Availability After Meeting at the Ministry of Unification

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Seoul, Korea
November 30, 2007

QUESTION: (inaudible)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, I just had a very good discussion with the Minister. We were comparing notes on our two processes. I was giving him my perspective on the Six-Party process, and he was telling me about the North-South dialogue and the progress that has been made. I think that we’ve always made it clear that we very much support this North-South dialogue, but what has been important also is to have a good communication and a good ability to compare notes.

That is exactly what we are doing today.

QUESTION: South Korea is proposing a lot of aid to North Korea as a result of this summit. What do you think of this massive aid to North Korea and what impact it might have on the Six-Party process?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, I think -- first of all -- a lot of this assistance, as I understand it, is conditional on action by the National Assembly. My impression is that these are commitments that will be played out over time. What I hope is that it is understood that as the DPRK makes progress on denuclearization, that assistance of this kind will be more available to them. I hope that the effect will be to make the DPRK understand that the faster it moves on denuclearization, the faster it can receive assistance.

QUESTION: Would you like to see this aid tied more toward a nuclear program, towards progress --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, again, I think we have always understood that North-South dialogue is a parallel process; it’s not the Six-Party process. Some of it, in fact, involves humanitarian process. So I think what’s important is that it be coordinated with the Six-Party process. I do believe we are able to do that.

Okay. I think I need to get on to my next appointment. So see you all later.



Released on November 30, 2007

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