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Remarks to Media Upon Arrival, Incheon Airport

Sung Kim, Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks
Seoul, Republic of Korea
November 24, 2008

AMBASSADOR KIM: Good afternoon. I’m here to attend a conference organized by the Korean government and the UN. It’s taking place in Jeju-do and started today. I’ll be joining them tomorrow. I’m looking forward to having a good discussion at the conference and also meeting with Korean foreign ministry officials on the margins of the conference to discuss a range of issues related to the Six-Party Talks.

QUESTION: Do you have any comment on the next round of Six-Party Talks?

AMBASSADOR KIM: There’s been some discussion on dates for the next meeting. I think we should wait for the Chinese to announce the dates.

QUESTION: Are you confident that the next round of Six-Party Talks will make some major progress?

AMBASSADOR KIM: Well, I think everyone understands what needs to be done, which is to finalize the verification protocol package and to come up with a new timeline for disablement and energy assistance. We hope we can make some progress at the next Six-Party meeting.

QUESTION: You know the [North] Korean government has said that it will not allow any inspectors to take samples from Yongbyon, and that was quite different from what the U.S. has been talking about. Do you have any strategies on how to resolve the U.S. - North Korea difference?

AMBASSADOR KIM: There’s no confusion between us and the DPRK on what was agreed to. So it’s a matter of taking our agreement and understandings into the Six-Party process and finalizing and adopting it in the Six-Party Talks.

QUESTION: Condoleezza Rica has said the Six-Party Talks will resume on December 8. So does that mean that the North Koreans have agreed to resume the Six-Party Talks on that date?

AMBASSADOR KIM: There’s been discussion about dates for the next meeting. And I believe the Chinese, the chair of the process, will soon announce the next meeting.

QUESTION: Do you think that the recent tension between the two Koreas will affect the fate of the Six-Party Talks?

AMBASSADOR KIM: It's obviously important for North and South to maintain good relations, and we hope there will be an improvement between the two countries.

Released on November 24, 2008

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