US top negotiator to the six-party talks Christopher Hill Friday said
that Washington currently has no intention of removing the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from a list of
countries accused of "sponsoring terrorism".
"At this point, we cannot do that," Hill told reporters in
Geneva, ahead of working group talks with the DPRK at the
But Hill said the two countries would continue to talk about
this issue and try to "figure out" at what stage the DPRK can be
removed from the US list.
The working group meeting will start Saturday morning at the US
mission to the United Nations and other international organizations
Although it is technically about normalizing relations between
the US and the DPRK, the meeting will focus on the disablement of
the DPRK's nuclear facilities.
Hill hoped the meeting would create the basis for the next round
of six-party talks, which would probably start in the early part of
September. Besides the United States and the DPRK, the six-party
talks also involve China, the Republic of Korea, Japan and
The working group meeting is being held as part of a six-party
agreement reached on Feb. 13 this year.
Under the agreement, the DPRK agreed to dismantle its nuclear
facilities in return for aid and security and diplomatic
guarantees, especially normalizing ties with the United States.
The DPRK has shut down a key nuclear reactor in Yongbyon
according to the agreement. But the United States insists that the
DPRK must completely declare and disable its nuclear arsenal before
any establishment of ties between the two countries that have been
enemies for over 50 years.
(Xinhua News Agency September 1, 2007)