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Hill to North: “Shut Down the Youngbyon Facility”

Posted June. 23, 2007 04:33,   


U.S. envoy Christopher Hill said on June 22, “North Korea has indicated that it is prepared to shut down the Yongbyon facility soon. They also said that they are prepared to disable the Yongbyon facility, although we must work out the details of that. Some of what I did with them was to discuss the details of how that was to proceed.” Hill, who spent two days in Pyongyang, made his remarks at a news conference at the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry office building in Jongno, Seoul.

As a result, the North is expected to shut down the nuclear facility and disable it before mid-July.

Hill consulted with Pak Ui Chun, North Korea’s foreign minister, and the country’s chief negotiator Kim Kye Gwan on nuclear issues in his visit to Pyongyang.

According to a report, the U.S. envoy suggested to North Korea that the U.S. could increase the pace of normalization of U.S.-North Korea relations and exempt North Korea from its list of terrorist sponsoring countries if it actively participates in denuclearization and dispels suspicions of highly enriched uranium (HEU) production.

In addition to that, he also suggested to North Korea that U.S. could buy a centrifuge for the country.

Chun Yung-woo, South Korea`s chief negotiator, said at the conference that, “North Korea has shown flexibility regarding the talks with the heads of the six delegations early next month, and a meeting with foreign ministers will be held as soon as possible.

Hill flew in on a military aircraft at the U.S. air base in Osan, Korea from Soonahn Airport in Pyongyang

He reported the results of his visit to North Korea at a meeting with South Korean government officials, including Song Min-soon, the country’s foreign affairs and trade minister, and will fly back to Washington after a visit to Japan on June 23.

Meanwhile, the Chosun Sinbo, which is a newspaper for the pro-Pyeongyang federation of Korean residents in Japan, stressed in an article on June 22 that, “Thanks to Hill’s visit to the Pyongyang, the North and the U.S. will soon have normal relations and the six party talks accord will be fulfilled sooner or later.” It added that, “The D.P.R.K does not want to maintain the status quo and there is no reason that Pyongyang should delay its fulfillment of the agreement.”