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Christopher Hill Availabiliy Outside Hotel Okura

Press Availabiliy Outside Hotel Okura


Christopher R. Hill , Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Tokyo, Japan
September 5, 2006


ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE HILL: Good morning. How are you?

QUESTION: Are you going to China today?

A/S HILL: I'm going to go to China this afternoon, yes.

QUESTION: Do you have any new [inaudible] ?

A/S HILL: Well, I want to -- I'll be in Beijing for a night, and I'll be talking to my six-party counterpart, but I'll also be talking to other Chinese concerned with U.S.-Chinese relations. As you know, I don't cover just the six parties, I also cover U.S. relations in Asia . So we have a lot of issues to discuss bilaterally with China . But in terms of the Six-Party Talks, I want to explore with them their thinking. It's been almost two months since the missile launch. I want to see how they regard the situation in North Korea , especially how they regard their own relationship with North Korea . So I look forward to some discussions about it. I want to emphasize too, that for us, the door is very much open to negotiation. We're very interested in restarting the Six-Party Talks. The problem is we don't have a partner in the D.P.R.K.

QUESTION: Do you have any results of visiting to Japan this time?

A/S HILL: Well, look, it's always very useful to come and visit Japan . We have a very similar outlook on the problem of the D.P.R.K. -- the problem of nuclear weapons in the D.P.R.K. We have a lot of issues to discuss. In fact, in my discussions last night with Ken Sasae, we were able to talk about a range of things, including the terrible problem of abductions that I know have really very much moved the Japanese public. And I know the Japanese government is extremely concerned about that. So we had a very good discussion, and I think it's very appropriate for two close allies to be in touch.

QUESTION: Do you think there is a possibility that North Korea will come back to the Six-Party Talks?

A/S HILL: Oh, I don't know, I don't know. It's clearly in their interest to participate in this process. It's clearly not in their interest to be conducting missile tests or any other tests. That is a very poor country with a lot of problems, and it can help solve those problems by coming to these talks. So I hope it'll see the logic, but you'll have to ask them. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: One more question: The R.O.K. is concerned about North Korea underground nuclear test. What do you think about it?

A/S HILL: Well, needless to say, this would be, obviously, a very, very negative development, and we have talked to our other partners in this matter, and I think we have a very close understanding with our other partners about the nature of such a test. So, thank you very much.

Released on September 7, 2006

ENDS


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