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Evening Walk-Through at Six-Party Talks

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
China World Hotel
Beijing, China
June 23, 2008

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ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Hi. I really don’t have a lot for you tonight. I met with Wu Dawei this afternoon. We discussed the sequence of events with respect to the Six-Party meeting starting with the submission that the DPRK will make to the Chinese on their declaration, followed by the bilateral issues that the U.S. will then undertake -- including the lifting of North Korea from the terrorism list and the removal of the designation of the Trading With the Enemy Act. And then we discussed how to organize a Six-Party meeting to deal with the declaration and to look at what would be the next phase.

So I think the Chinese are going to continue to consult with the parties on the Six-Party schedule, and I hope they’ll be able to announce something very soon.

QUESTION: Are we talking about end of the week?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I don’t know. I think they’re talking very soon. Again, I don’t want to get into which days -- except I think we’re talking soon.

QUESTION: You said the other day that you might try and get a readout from the Chinese from the meeting between Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Il?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I was hoping to see him, but I think he’s still going to be out of the country. So I didn’t get a readout on that today. We really had a full discussion on Six-Party matters and about various consultations. We want to make sure the Russians are being consulted. And in that regard, I have a meeting with the Russian Ambassador tomorrow to go over some things.

QUESTION: You don’t have any bad news so far?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I don’t have any bad news to report. I’m sorry (laughter).

QUESTION: So we’re going to see something soon?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Soon.

QUESTION: Have you set a date for the Six-Party Talks?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Mike, how are you? We were going over a couple of dates, both of which are fine with me. But the Chinese need to talk to some other delegations about the dates. He had talked earlier with the South Korean delegation. I went there also, working on some dates. So we’re really, as I said the other day, we’ve gone through several weeks and meetings in several months where a lot of bilateral discussions were going on, and I think right now we seem to be shifting back toward the Six Parties -- because we are getting to the end of this second phase.

We’re getting very soon to the North Korean submission of their declaration, and then we’re going to move to the next phase. And one of the first things we want to do in that next phase is define the scope of the next phase and what we’re going to try to accomplish in that next phase. So these Six-Party Talks are coming up soon, and let’s hope that they can move the process along and get us to the end goal here -- which is denuclearization.

QUESTION: Would it be fair to say that the response will not happen this week?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, I’m not in the position to say that. But, again, I don’t want to speak to specific dates -- except to say that I think everyone has a sense that this is coming soon.

QUESTION: (Inaudible)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: Which is country is it?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: They have to talk to all the countries in the Six Parties. So I know they’ve talked to us. I know they’ve talked to the ROK. I think they’ve been in telephone communication with the DPRK. So I think they’ll probably talk to the others, and we’ll also be doing some consultations in this regard.

QUESTION: Do you have any meetings scheduled with North Korea this coming week?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I don’t have any meetings scheduled with North Korea.

QUESTION: Do you see any sign of Mr. Kim Kye Gwan coming to Beijing?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I’m not aware that he’s coming to Beijing, and I don’t have any plans to meet with him. We had some meetings a few weeks ago, and we covered a lot of ground. I don’t think we have to have any further bilateral meetings at this time.

QUESTION: Have all Six Parties agreed on the date for the North Koreans to make the declaration?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think the Chinese are working on the date with all the Six Parties. So you’ll have to ask them where that stands. I’m not in a position to say that. I think everyone agrees it ought to be soon though.

QUESTION: Did you say that if the declaration is okay then they will be taken off the terrorism list?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, I think it’s a sequence of events. Secretary Rice laid it out in her speech last week. So we thought we’d have a declaration and pretty much simultaneously -- that is, within the same time frame -- we would then move to have the U.S. do its bilateral obligations, and then we’ll move from there.

Okay?

QUESTION: Do you know your schedule for tomorrow?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I’m not sure. You better check with the Embassy.

QUESTION: Are they any more meetings tonight?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No more meetings tonight, no.




Released on June 23, 2008

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