Christopher Hill, the chief US envoy to the six-party talks, said in Beijing on Tuesday afternoon that the key element of North Korea's nuclear declaration is its admission of laying out all its facilities. "They have to give us the verifiable figures of how much plutonium they have ... then we go to the next phase," said Hill after meeting with the Russian ambassador on the senses of getting along with North Korea's declaration.
Hill said the United States had been talking with the Chinese about scheduling the next six-party meeting, and hopefully, getting moving on phase three.
China will take North Korea's declaration and call a six-party meeting. "I'm not sure whether it will be a full meeting or a head of delegation, but the Chinese side needs to check with all the parties," Hill said.
He said the concerned parties would need to be looking at the declaration and to assess whether it is verifiable and real. Then they would go into verification, that is to set up a verification regime based on the verification principles.
He hoped the verification regime would be set up within 45 days.
"While that is happening, phase three will begin. We would see the scope as phase three as being the abandonment phase, that is the point pursuing to the September 2005 agreement. North Korea will abandon all of its nuclear programs and all of its nuclear weapons."
(Xinhua News Agency June 25, 2008)