2008.12.16: December 16, 2008: Headlines: Figures: COS - Cameroon: Diplomacy: AFP: Hill says that progress had been made with North Korea despite the collapse of the six-nation talks last week

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Cameroon: RPCV Christopher R. Hill (Cameroon) : RPCV Christopher R. Hill: Newest Stories: 2008.12.16: December 16, 2008: Headlines: Figures: COS - Cameroon: Diplomacy: AFP: Hill says that progress had been made with North Korea despite the collapse of the six-nation talks last week

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Hill says that progress had been made with North Korea despite the collapse of the six-nation talks last week

Hill says that progress had been made with North Korea despite the collapse of the six-nation talks last week

"When we started this long negotiation in the summer 2005, North Korea was merrily and busily producing plutonium," Hill said in a speech at the Asia Society center Washington. "However, since the September 2005 joint statement, they have not produced even one gram of plutonium. I think the Six-Party process takes some credit for that." The disarmament talks -- involving the United States, the two Koreas, China, Russia and Japan -- collapsed in Beijing Thursday after failing to reach agreement on how to determine if the secretive nation had told the truth about its atomic programs. The failure immediately led Washington to declare it would "have to rethink" its strategy towards the communist country. After the four-day talks Hill blamed the Pyongyang regime for refusing to agree on a protocol to verify a historic declaration it made in June this year about its nuclear activities. "It has been a tough couple of weeks," admitted Hill, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs. Christopher R. Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon.

Hill says that progress had been made with North Korea despite the collapse of the six-nation talks last week

NKorea nuclear talks fruitful despite collapse: US envoy

Dec 16, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) The top US envoy to the North Korean nuclear disarmament negotiations, Christopher Hill, declared Tuesday that progress had been made despite the collapse of the six-nation talks last week.

"When we started this long negotiation in the summer 2005, North Korea was merrily and busily producing plutonium," Hill said in a speech at the Asia Society center Washington.

"However, since the September 2005 joint statement, they have not produced even one gram of plutonium. I think the Six-Party process takes some credit for that."

The disarmament talks -- involving the United States, the two Koreas, China, Russia and Japan -- collapsed in Beijing Thursday after failing to reach agreement on how to determine if the secretive nation had told the truth about its atomic programs.

The failure immediately led Washington to declare it would "have to rethink" its strategy towards the communist country.

After the four-day talks Hill blamed the Pyongyang regime for refusing to agree on a protocol to verify a historic declaration it made in June this year about its nuclear activities.

"It has been a tough couple of weeks," admitted Hill, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

But his hope, he added, would be North Korea realizing what giving up its 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of plutonium could do to benefit the country.

"If you give up 30 kilos, we will relax economic sanctions. If you give up 30 kilos, we will sign, along with South Korea, the peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula," Hill said.

"If you give up the 30 kilos, the US recognizes you. If you give up 30 kilos, we will sign a bilateral assistance program."

The strategy for disarmament, he said, involves the regime realizing "what most countries in the world have come to understand, which is you don't need nuclear weapons to protect yourself; you need good relations with your neighbors to protect yourself."

Under a landmark six-nation deal reached in February 2007, North Korea agreed to give up the nuclear programs it had spent decades developing.

The pact also called for the other nations involved in the talks to deliver one million tons of fuel oil or energy aid of equivalent value to the North.

However the negotiations, which began in 2003, have been mired in countless setbacks, and did not prevent Pyongyang from testing its first atomic bomb in 2006.

And although the North made its declaration of its atomic activities in June, the next crucial step in the process was working out a way to determine if it had been telling the truth.

The talks reached apparent agreement in October on a verification procedure, which was the pact that failed Thursday.

With no date set for more talks, last week's failure all but dashed the hopes of US President George W. Bush's administration to make progress on North Korean disarmament before Barack Obama moves into the White House on January 20.




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Story Source: AFP

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Cameroon; Diplomacy

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