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Evening Walk-Through Remarks at Six-Party Talks

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
China World Hotel
Beijing, China
June 20, 2008

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: [Inaudible] the meeting and dinner with the Chairman of the Six-Party process, Wu Dawei. We talked about -- I first of all briefed him on the trilateral meetings we had in Tokyo. We talked about scheduling for Six-Party Talks, and our desire to work on having a Six-Party meeting soon, and to get on with the declaration and other obligations so that we can move onto the next phase. It was a good discussion.

I think I’m going to request or suggest that we have a meeting Monday again to follow up. In the meantime, I think I will go down and visit our Consulate in Guangzhou on Saturday, come back on Sunday. I think we’ll have some people here over the weekend for any follow-up discussions. I hope we can work again on the timing and the sequencing of all the Six-Party endeavors. So it was a good discussion, and it has been a long day.

QUESTION: Do you now have a clear picture of what’s going to happen in the next coming weeks?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I do, and I think the Chinese have really done a lot of work on this and are prepared as chair of the Six-Party process to take us forward. We had a good discussion about how to wind up phase two and how to begin phase three. So, a good discussion.

QUESTION: Do you talk about Xi Jinping’s meeting with Kim Jong-il?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No I didn’t, but I hope to do that early in the week.

QUESTION: How soon do you think you can have Six-Party Talks?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think it’s going to be soon, but I don’t want to make any announcements tonight. I said it will be soon, but I don’t want to make any announcements tonight.

QUESTION: Is there any mention of a foreign minister’s level talk anytime soon?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We’ve really focused on the Six Parties and thehead ofdelegation tonight. I think there will be a foreign ministers’ meeting at a certain point, and I think everyone has agreed to do that. But we were more focused on the timing of the head of delegation meeting, because we are very much focused on trying to wind up phase two. A lot of work has done on winding up phase two. And as Secretary Rice said, I think that we are getting to that very soon.

QUESTION: Has there been any report that the declaration was going to be submitted next week?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I’m not in a position to confirm that report.

QUESTION: In terms of wrapping up phase two, do you have a sense of timeline?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I do, but not one I can share with you. I think we’ve had a number of weeks, in fact a couple of months, where we’ve really had a lot of bilateral meetings. And I think right now we’re going to be much more focused on the Six-Party meetings rather than bilateral. I think we’ve had a lot of consultations. I think there’s a real understanding now on how to go forward. But right now we’re really focused on getting all Six Parties together.

QUESTION: Do youexpect to have the Six-Partymeetings before the declaration or after the declaration?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Again, we’re going to have it soon.

QUESTION: Maybe you have briefed Wu Dawei about the recent developments that you have made with the North Koreans, U.S.-DPRK talks, in these past few weeks?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Oh yes, but we’ve been in touch

QUESTION: Are you satisfied with the (inaudible) developments that you have made in the contents of the declaration?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, I think he’s very pleased with our discussions, but you need to ask him. At least he told me he was satisfied with how we’re going forward. Again, we’re all trying to go forward in a way that will reinforce the Six-Party process. At times there will be bilateral meetings, and that’s certainly what we’ve been doing in recent weeks and even months. But I think right now we’re all focused on the fact that we’re getting to the end of the phase, where we will need to have all six parties around the table. And then I think the next step will be to launch the new phase. And there again, we’re talking about all six parties around the table. So we really focused very heavily on the Six-Party meetings that we need to have. While I’m not prepared to announce when the meetings will be, I would say that we’re all looking to do this soon.

QUESTION: Have you already suggested any extra date?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We discussed some specific dates, but I don’t want to make any announcement about which dates those are. Nor do I want to play 20 questions about when they are before or when they are after, except that we did have a good discussion about them. I also relayed the contents of our trilateral meeting that we had in Tokyo.

QUESTION: During your upcoming trips, are you going to have Six-Party meetings?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Again, you’re trying to get me to back my way into giving you the schedule. I think any announcements about Six-Party meetings need to come from the Chinese, and I can assure you that they have been doing a lot of work.

QUESTION: The meeting in which you attend soon is the Six-Party meeting and the formal delegation?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, what will happen soon is the DPRK will turn in their declaration. And then soon thereafter, immediately after they do that, we would expect to have a Six-Party meeting. And I think that would be very soon after the declaration. So I think they will give their declaration to the Chinese. The Chinese would call the Six-Party meeting to discuss the declaration and to review all the other things. A number of things are going to happen very quickly, very quickly upon the receipt of the declaration.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) the formal Six-Party talks meet?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, I think we’re talking about, for starters, head of delegation meetings. But, certainly, we would have a formal Six-Party meeting. I think you’re making a bigger distinction than there is a difference.

QUESTION: The process of the heads of delegation meeting, and then declaration, and then formal Six-Party meeting?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think we’re going to have declaration. Then we’re going to have probably head of delegation, but maybe a full meeting of the Six-Party delegations. It’s all going to happen very quickly after we get to the declaration, because there are a number of obligations --including U.S. obligations, as Secretary Rice explained the other day in a speech in Washington.

Okay. I’ve had a long day. So I’ll see you all later.

QUESTION: Any more meetings tomorrow morning?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, no meetings tomorrow morning.

Released on June 20, 2008

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