Remarks to the Media in GenevaChristopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Hotel de La Paix
March 14, 2008
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Some of our team is still here, including Sung Kim, so we will follow up this morning to see the status of what we are trying to get accomplished. But again I want to emphasize that it was a very good meeting yesterday. We went through a lot. We talked a lot about the format, but we also talked a lot about substance.
I am not in a position though to say whether we are prepared to go on to phase three at this point, but we will continue to be in touch with the DPRK delegation through the weekend. I also had some discussions with other members of the Six Parties, and I talked to Saiki-san three or four times by telephone, including this morning. So we will see how it goes. But again it was a very good meeting, and I am very appreciative to the Swiss authorities for helping to facilitate this.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, the North again last night were reported as saying no on uranium enrichment, no on proliferation. It doesn’t seem they have moved on those substantive issues that you want them to move on.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Again, I am not responsible for what they say in their press conferences. I can just tell you we had some very good discussions, and we will see where we are.
QUESTION: How was the response from Secretary Rice? Was she satisfied with some improvements?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, I think you would have to ask the spokesman on that. I talked to her a couple of times, including at three in the morning our time. So I think we have been in touch, and she is very familiar with what we are trying to get accomplished here.
QUESTION: Would you be coming back from Warsaw to Geneva?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I don’t have any plans to do that.
QUESTION: Do you think you need to meet with the Koreans bilaterally before going on to Six-Party Talks?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think there might be another need for consultation. But frankly, I think we will have to do a number of other consultations with other parties before we have a Six-Party meeting. But again, it was a very full day of discussion. We went through a lot of issues that we needed to go through. I think there is a growing understanding of the issues that need to be resolved, so we will see how we do. And I will leave Sung Kim here for another day, in case there is any need for face-to-face follow up.
QUESTION: You said you need to make some progress within this month, it is critical.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, I think it is just a matter of the timing. We are going to get on to phase three and make some serious progress in ‘08 because the purpose of this Six-Party process is not a declaration. The purpose is denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and for that we need to really pick up the pace if we are going to achieve that.
QUESTION: Do you have a meeting scheduled?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I don’t have a meeting scheduled right now.
QUESTION: Why did you have to talk to Saiki (inaudible) two or three times?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think I called him, and he called me. He had some messages to pass on to me. And we also were doing some logistics because I look forward to him as well in a bilateral consultation in the near future.
QUESTION: When do you leave for Warsaw?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: About two minutes ago.
Released on March 14, 2008