The United States is trying to realize full implementation of an
accord for denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula, top US nuclear
envoy Christopher Hill said on Monday.
"It would be in 2008 we would really want to wrap this up," Hill
told a press conference on his return from six-party talks in
"The sooner the better, I mean, from my humble perspective. But
in 2008 we would hope to wrap this up. I hope it wouldn't take 12
months," Hill said.
The Bush administration has been trying to complete the
implementation of the complex nuclear deal signed at the fifth
round of six-party talks on Feb. 13 this year before the next US
presidential elections in November 2008.
All six parties --North Korea, South Korea, China, the United
States, Japan and Russia -- agreed to take the following actions in
parallel in the initial phase:
North Korea will shut down and seal the Yongbyon nuclear
facility, including the reprocessing facility and invite back the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) personnel to conduct
monitoring and verifications.
North Korea will discuss with other parties all its nuclear
programs, including plutonium extracted from used fuel rods.
North Korea and the United States will start bilateral talks to
resolve pending bilateral issues and moving toward full diplomatic
relations. The US side will begin removing the designation of North
Korea as a state-sponsor of terrorism and terminating the Trading
with the Enemy Act concerning North Korea.
North Korea and Japan will start bilateral talks to normalize
their relations in line with the Pyongyang Declaration, based on
settling unfortunate past and the outstanding issues of
All parties should provide emergency energy assistance to North
Korea in the initial phase.
Working groups are to be set up for issues such as a
nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, normalization of relations among
countries involved, establishment of a peace and security mechanism
in Northeast Asia and economic and energy cooperation among
North Korea must declare all nuclear programs and disable all
existing nuclear facilities, including graphite-moderated reactor
sand its post-treatment plant, and other parties must provide a
total of 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil or equivalent aid, with
the initial shipment of 50,000 tons.
On July 14, North Korea shut down its main Yongbyon nuclear
reactor as promised.
Hill said that "realistically speaking, if we can get phase two
done by the end of the year, then we can address some of the other
elements that are there," citing as an example the planned setting
up of a Northeast Asian security forum and signing of a peace
treaty to officially end the Korean War.
"And realistically speaking, if we can't get that (second phase)
going by the end of '07, it's going to be tough to complete it by
the end of '08, which would be our target time," Hill said.
Hill acknowledged that there will be difficulties for
implementing the plan. "I suspect we're going to have some
eleventh-hour negotiations," he said of the process of putting
together a so-called "sequencing plan" with the disabling of North
Korea's nuclear arsenal.
"So let's see if we can get something that makes sense by early
September and then try to implement it," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency July 24, 2007)