- Title: JAPAN: Hill says North Korean nuclear disablement proceeding on schedule
- Date: 12th December 2007
- Summary: (BN08) NARITA, JAPAN (DECEMBER 7, 2007) (REUTERS) AEROPPLANE CARRYING CHRISTOPHER HILL, U.S. CHIEF NEGOTIATOR, TO SIX-PARTY TALKS, ARRIVING AT NARITA AIRPORT FROM BEIJING
- Embargoed: 27th December 2007 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVAC3AX8XXIRAE023EZI9GECLXQV
- Story Text: North Korea is making progress on disabling its nuclear facilities but it still needs to produce some "accurate and correct"
form of inventory of its atomic arms programmes by the end of the year, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Friday (December 7)
"We had a discussion with the DPRK about its plans for declaration and I emphasised what we have emphasised before, which is the need for the declaration to be complete and correct," Christopher Hill, Washington's top envoy to the nuclear talks, told reporters after arriving in Japan from Beijing for talks with his Japanese counterpart before heading back to Washington.
"So, as for the timing of the declaration, I think it depends on decisions really, made in Pyongyang, but I do believe they can have, certainly, a draft produced before the end of the year," Hill told reporters at Narita Airport near Tokyo.
Hill added, however, that the international effort to disable and dismantle North Korea's nuclear facilities is pretty much on track.
"As important as the declaration is, it's also important to understand that the actual work on the ground in Yongbyon is proceeding, I think, very much on schedule," Hill added.
On Wednesday (December 5), Hill handed a letter from U.S. President George W. Bush to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il at the end of a three-day trip to the reclusive communist state.
In his first direct communication with the reclusive leader of a country he once branded part of an "axis of evil", Bush urged North Korea to keep its promise to reveal all nuclear programs.
Bush's gesture underscored U.S. efforts to get North Korea to make good on its pledge to disable its main nuclear complex and declare all of its nuclear activities in exchange for economic and diplomatic incentives.
Besides disabling its nuclear facilities, Pyongyang is also obliged under the February deal to give a full account of its nuclear programs, while Washington is to move toward taking Pyongyang off a U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism.
Bush told Kim that "we're at a critical juncture" for Pyongyang to meet its year-end deadline for key steps toward nuclear disarmament, the White House confirmed on Thursday (December 6).
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