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Chris Hill, Remarks To The Media In Japan (2 Nov)

Christopher R. Hill
Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Okura Hotel
Tokyo, Japan
November 2, 2007

Remarks to the Media in Japan

QUESTION: Do you have anything new from Sung Kim?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE HILL: No, I don't have anything new from Sung Kim. This is the first time I've gotten to my hotel. You stand between me and Sung Kim.

QUESTION: You haven't heard from him?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, I haven't. But when I do, you will be the first to know. I promise to tell you.

QUESTION: Chun Young Woo went to Beijing today and had a talk with Kim Gye-gwan. Was that one of the topics this morning with Chun Young Woo?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I knew he was planning some consultations, but I didn't know he was going today.

QUESTION: So have you heard about the Japanese political situation now?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I have, I have. But I'm not going to comment on it.

QUESTION: Ambassador Schieffer was not with you on this dinner?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We were together throughout all the meetings, and I think he had another dinnertime engagement.

QUESTION: I was not in Seoul this time. I heard that you indicated that in the disablement process that the people are going to do the reprocessing facilities first. Is that true?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think I said that in Beijing, and I also suggested that you needed to ask the scientists or the technicians who are doing it. But there are a couple of things that are going on. One is the reactor, because they want to be able to facilitate the discharge of the fuel for the reactor. And I think that's going to get going pretty soon. The other was the reprocessing facility. And the point is, all of this is starting very soon, and we will be in the business of disabling really in the next couple of days. And, as such, we will be further along than we've ever been before. And the point is not to be pleased with that, but to continue and go from disabling to dismantling and abandonment of all the fissile materials. So we're trying to move ahead.

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QUESTION: What do you do for their reprocessing facility?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: There are a number of measures. I'm sorry I don't have them on me. They're very technical issues, but I'm sure we can get that to you next time you block my hotel. [Laughter]

QUESTION: Did the technician team who left for Yongbyon arrive?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I hope so, because I don't think the plane can stay in the air that long. But we haven't heard anything. I assume they all arrived in Pyongyang, and I would expect that they will move on toYongbyon, if not today then I'm sure tomorrow.

QUESTION: Are they having some technical problems, like the phone does not yet go through?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Oh, I think it's been difficult to phone out, and that's a problem. So we're hopeful that we can make that arrangement sometime in the future. And we even spoke to the North Koreans about that -- how to improve our communications.

QUESTION: At this point there's no declaration?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I believe they have something ready, and I believe we'll see it in the next week or so.

QUESTION: They'll hand over to Sung Kim?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Probably to Sung Kim, but then we'll bring it to the Six Parties -- because it's not a U.S. matter. It's for everybody. So probably we'd want to give it to the Chinese.

QUESTION: Is there any special reason that Ambassador Schieffer attended the meeting with Sasae?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: He always does. He almost always comes to the meetings with Sasae. I think that if you check with the embassy you'll find that at just about every meeting, he's been there.

QUESTION: Did he bring out the cable that he sent to the President?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We have a lot of things to talk about. He has a right to communicate with the President, and he does it all the time.

Thank you very much.


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