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Remarks Upon Arrival in Pyongyang, North Korea

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Pyongyang, North Korea
December 3, 2007

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ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, we are getting to the end of phase two. It's been a very important phase and we need to make sure it ends well. I'm going to be briefing with Mr. Kim Kye Gwan on what we're doing in Washington to fulfill our responsibilities and then I am going to be trying to get a briefing on how the D.P.R.K. is doing on its responsibilities. Looking forward to seeing the declaration soon, the declaration of all their nuclear programs, materials, and infrastructure. And so we look forward to having a Six-Party meeting to discuss all that. So this is a consultation, and I will also go down to Yongbyon to see how the work is going on with disablement.

QUESTION: Inaudible

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think we will continue to have discussions on that, with the understanding that I think we can resolve this matter by the end of the year.

QUESTION: How about your schedule here?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: That's up to Mr. Kim Kye Gwan. I think today I go to Yongbyon, then I think after that I will be in consultation with Mr. Kim Kye Kwan. I am sure he will put together a good program.

QUESTION: When do you leave?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think I leave on Wednesday.

QUESTION: What do you think about the establishing of a permanent U.S. aid office in Pyongyang?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: That is not something we have been discussing, what we have been trying to do is to get through the process of denuclearization. In the context of complete denuclearization we would look forward to establishing complete diplomatic relations.

QUESTION: Inaudible

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, I am hoping that as we get through this phase, and we have some things we need to get through, including a good declaration, and we have some obligations in Washington, we have been working very hard to complete those obligations. I would hope that in year '08, which is actually the last year of the Bush administration, I would hope that we can complete this process. This would be, I think, a very dramatic improvement in the situation on the Korean peninsula. I think it would begin a process of bringing the D.P.R.K. into the international community, begin the process of completing normalization of U.S. ties, but this can only be done in the context of complete denuclearization. See you later.



Released on December 3, 2007

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