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Hill: Good Start on 1st Day of 6-Party Talks
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Top US envoy Christopher Hill said on Monday evening that the first-day meeting of the sixth round of six-party talks is a good start and the discussions are useful.


"Being optimistic in this business," Hill said. "I think we will be on schedule."


Hill said all the parties to the talks would review the 60-day actions tomorrow, saying things on this issue are in fairly good shape.


Hill said he would want more clarity in the next phase (the period beyond 60 days), adding that there has to be some real clarity and understanding on "where we are" as well as on the issue of highly enriched uranium.


Hill said he is not looking for a joint statement but would like to see what are the elements in the denuclearization process, stressing it would need some hard work and patience.


According to Hill, he would meet with his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye-gwan tomorrow morning.


Hill said the issue of North Korean funds at Macao's BDA bank being frozen by the US has been resolved and the two countries are beyond the BDA issue


"We would like to see a complete declaration of and disabling of the nuclear facilities. We have a lot of work to do and see how far we can get there," Hill noted.


Hill said the current approach to move forward the denuclearization process is durable and logical and North Korea should do more to square up its relationship with Japan.


The delegates to the talks will review the work of working groups tomorrow. Hill said the working group meetings are all productive, but he thought the working groups need to meet more than once before the delegates start valuating whether they were falling behind or going ahead.


(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2007)


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