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Christopher Hill Remarks at Narita Airport


Remarks at Narita Airport
Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Tokyo, Japan
October 16, 2006


QUESTION: What would you expect meeting with Japanese?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, first of all, it's great to be back here in Tokyo. I think it's been about six weeks since I was last here. As you know, Secretary Rice will be coming in a couple more days. And I think Secretary Rice's visit should be seen in the context of this very close cooperation that we've had throughout these difficult months. Certainly we have worked very closely bilaterally and with the United Nations Security Council during the July missile test, and now during this nuclear test we've also worked very, very closely and effectively and with the new Japanese government. So I think our cooperation has been truly excellent, and we see Secretary Rice's visit as part of that process. We have to work together and see what we can do to make sure that the measures that we've taken, measures that Japan has taken, can all be brought together to make sure that the North Koreans choose a different path than the one they're currently on. So I look forward to some meetings here. I look forward to meeting my counterpart Ken Sasae later tonight, and then I think I'll be off to Seoul sometime tomorrow, and that I'll be back here to greet Secretary Rice on Wednesday. So thank you very much.

QUESTION: What do you hope to achieve on this trip?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: These will be the first contacts we've had after the UN Security Council resolution. So we want to talk about implementing -- implementation of the resolution, and we want to talk about other measures we can take to work together and to make sure that North Korea is not able to get the technology or the financing to do these programs. So we'll be doing a lot of consultations all those issues.

QUESTION: How about trying to persuade China to inspect cargoes?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, as you know Secretary Rice will be in China, and obviously will have an opportunity to talk to the Chinese about the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution, just as we'll be doing with the Koreans. So this is a trip that follows just a matter of days the passage of the Security Council resolution, and I think there's a lot to discuss about how to implement the resolution.

QUESTION: What do you expect for Japan? You do it by yourself? Cover inspections?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, we'll be talking to the Japanese authorities and seeing how they will be implementing the resolution, and we'll be discussing with the Japanese how we will be implementing it. So this is an opportunity, really, to be in close contact.

QUESTION: There was a report on a trilateral foreign minister meeting in Seoul for Secretary Rice.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I don't think we are ready to make an announcement, but it has always been our goal that Japan, the United States, Republic of Korea -- the three democracies with, I think, much in common here, much at stake -- we were very pleased at the successful visit of the Prime Minister of Japan to Korea, and I think we look forward to cooperating on a trilateral basis, but I'm not ready to make an announcement about a meeting yet.

QUESTION: One more. What is the U.S. observation on the second testing, possible testing of the nuclear?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: That there has been a second? I'm sorry, I have not heard of any second test of a nuclear . . .

QUESTION: Well, some speculation tomorrow is a possible day, 17th...

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, I've heard the speculation, but I have nothing to add to the speculation. So thank you very much. I really need to get to the hotel.

QUESTION: I want to ask you about the information. Security Council resolution does not [inaudible]. It depends on the every nation's role. So do you think they will really carry out the inspection?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, I think it does depend on every nation to do this, and that's one of the reasons we should have these consultations. And we will be doing that. I know that every nation that supported this resolution, including China because -- China had brought a very senior emissary to meet with President Bush a few days ago, State Counselor Tang Jiaxuan, and we had a very good discussion about how we need to follow up and make sure that the DPRK understands that they are on a wrong path. So I think we have a great deal of similar thinking as China. And I think this nuclear test really brought us all much closer to China and brought China closer to us. So we'll see how that goes in the next few days.

QUESTION: What do you think of cargo inspections possibility that they might spark small-scale conflicts?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We're not in favor of conflict. We're in favor of taking measures to protect ourselves, and we think everyone needs to implement the UN Security Council resolution. And again, will be discussing the details. So thank you very much.

QUESTION: Will the framework of PSI be implemented or not implemented?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: That's going to be part of the discussion. So we'll let you know later on. Released on October 18, 2006

ENDS


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