Press Availability with Director-General Kenichiro Sasae and US Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill, Tokyo, January 7, 2008
Joint Press Availability With Director-General Kenichiro Sasae Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tokyo, Japan January 7, 2008.
QUESTION: What did you agree on during the meeting?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE HILL: Well, we had a very good discussion about going forward on the Six-Party process -- in particular, of course, the problem that we face with the declaration, and our insistence that, really, we need a declaration that is complete and correct. So I think that we will have a lot of consultation in the days and weeks ahead to make sure that we can get this process on track and that we can complete this phase and then move very quickly to the next phase -- because we do want to persist in achieving our full goals, which (inaudible) the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
QUESTION: What will you do to work on North Korea now? And how do the two of you feel about the prospects for a resumption of the Six-Party Talks?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, I will be in Beijing on Thursday, and I look forward to consulting with the Chinese on the question of when a Six-Party meeting could be scheduled. But, obviously, what we're looking to is to have the fulfillment of the phase two actions. The one that is kind of holding things up right now is the declaration.
QUESTION: Did you receive anything from the Chinese? Has the chair received anything that could be construed as a declaration, a partial declaration? Is there anything at all?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Anything that could be construed as a declaration? What do you mean?
QUESTION: North Korea says that they provided a declaration already.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: What they did was, they discussed what elements should be in the declaration, and it was clearly not a complete and correct declaration. But whether they have provided a declaration, I think you would have to ask the Chinese, because any declaration is in respect to the Six-Party process. And I'm not aware that they have provided any declaration to the Chinese. But, once again, I want to stress the declaration must be complete and correct. And if it's not complete and correct, frankly speaking, a partial declaration is really no declaration at all.
QUESTION: In today's meeting, what did you discuss regarding the abduction issue and the issue of delisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism?
DIRECTOR-GENERAL KENICHIRO SASAE: We generally discussed the process of the Six-Party talks this evening. Within the discussion, we mainly focused on the largest difficulties that we are facing right now. So the two questions that you asked, we just confirmed that we share the same position at this time and didn't go into further discussion.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I completely agree with what Director-General Sasae said. We of course discussed all aspects, but the main part of the discussion was on the main issue, which is the declaration.
QUESTION: The DPRK agreed in November to make a declaration. So why is there such a gap between the DPRK and the United States with regard to the declaration? Since November, what was the involvement of the U.S. and Japan toward the DPRK to urge their declaration?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, we have had a number of discussions with the DPRK on the declaration. But the issue is that the declaration needs to be complete and correct, and they have not provided a complete and correct declaration. By that I mean they have not included all of the nuclear programs that they've had. They've not included all of the nuclear facilities that they've had. So just in those two areas alone, there were some omissions. So the point is that when they submit the declaration, it must be complete and correct. But actually the discussion of the declaration, really I would say, began during the denuclearization working group in Shenyang on August 16th. That's when, for the first time, the DPRK went through some of the elements to be included in the declaration. But those elements were not the complete number of elements, and so we have had a willingness from the DPRK to provide a partial declaration really since August. I would like to make one other point, which is that this is not a question of us wanting a complete declaration and their not providing any elements. They are prepared to provide a number of elements. The problem is that it is not complete. And so we need it complete. We don't need a 90% declaration. We need a 100% declaration.
QUESTION: What is preventing them from declaring everything?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, I think you have to ask them. But I think some of the programs are ones that they would rather not discuss publicly. And I must say that this is a society and a government whose first instinct is not to be transparent. Our point to them is that we need a complete and correct declaration in order to move forward. We are not looking for a complete and correct declaration in order to ask them a thousand more questions or in any way cause problems for the future. Frankly, we need it in order to solve problems and move forward. So we do it in a spirit of openness, which we think is really necessary in order to achieve our goals.
QUESTION: Is there any progress since DPRK submitted the so-called declaration back in November?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I'm not sure what you mean by submitting a declaration in November.
QUESTION: The DPRK is insisting that they provided a declaration back in November, then the U.S. is requesting a more complete and accurate declaration?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, they have discussed elements of their declaration not since November, but really since August. So, again, we don't have a declaration, because any declaration that is pursuant to the October 3 statement needs to be submitted to the chair of the Six-Party process and needs to be complete and correct. So I'm not aware that they have submitted such a declaration.
Source: US Department of State, www.state.gov.