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Hill: Six-Party Talks Go Smoothly, Chairman Statement Set for Today
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Chief US negotiator to the six-party talks Christopher Hill said on Wednesday the chief delegates meeting on the same day had "very open and substantive discussions" and there would be a chairman's statement released on Thursday.

"We've discussed the work plan, getting the working groups together and technical issues of sequencing the elements of the next phase, especially the issue of fuel oil," Hill told reporters when he arrived at his hotel in downtown Beijing after finishing discussions with Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei in the morning and all the other chief negotiators in the afternoon.

"We are not avoiding any topics," Hill said.

Although considering "the mood on the table is quite positive," Hill said it was a tough process to get things moving on.

He reiterated that North Korea should declare all its nuclear programs and disable all existing nuclear facilities.

The declaration should be "complete," with no flexibility, according to Hill.
"All means all," he said.

He also said the disabling of nuclear facilities should be verified by experts to see "how you (North Korea) disable the facilities," whether it would be "difficult or easily to be brought back".

"The peace process on the Korean Peninsula needs to be done after, or certainly not before the denuclearization," Hill said, adding that the process would be in parallel with the six-party talks continuing the primary job of denuclearization.

He said the meeting would set schedules for all five working groups, to help implement the second phase, for example, bilateral working groups verifying the disablement of nuclear facilities and an energy working group discussing the fuel oil equivalent.

"The statement will be a time frame, covering the conversations we had today and tomorrow," Hill said, adding that an overall timeframe should be completed.

Thursday's meeting would begin at 10 AM, said Hill.

(Xinhua News Agency July 19, 2007)

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