Accessibility links

US Envoy Cautiously Optimistic North Korea Getting Ready to Produce Inventory of Nuclear Activity


U.S. envoy Christopher Hill says North Korea is preparing to provide a long overdue declaration of its nuclear activities. Hill met with his Russian counterpart in Moscow, following two days of talks in Beijing with North Korea's nuclear envoy and others on restarting the so-called six-party negotiations on North Korea's nuclear program. VOA correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports from the Russian capital.

Christopher Hill told a Moscow news conference that North Korea is expected to produce an inventory of its nuclear activities soon, but added that he does not want to predict the day or week it will happen.

"They are getting ready to do this, and what is important for us is that, as they get ready to do it, that this be a declaration that we can verify in a verification phase as being complete and correct," he said.

Hill says the negotiating process with North Korea is, as he put it, arriving at an important juncture.

The two Koreas, the United States, Russia, China and Japan are involved in so-called six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear program.

Earlier this month, North Korea handed over 18,000 pages of documents on its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and reprocessing plant. Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. negotiator at the six-party talks, praised the move.

"Clearly, providing us with the documentation is a sign that they understand the importance we - and everybody, if I can speak for the other parties as well - assign to the need for complete verification," he added.

The United States says the documents appear to be accurate.

Christopher Hill says he and his Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin, discussed fuel oil shipments to North Korea aimed at easing its energy concerns. Borodavkin says Russia's current commitment will be fulfilled soon.

The diplomat says his country is completing its second shipment of fuel to North Korea. The first was delivered in January and the second is nearing completion. Borodavkin says Moscow hopes to finish by early June.

The U.S.-Russian talks in Moscow round out what Hill called an intense week of consultations with members of the six-party talks, having met in Beijing with Chinese, North Korean and Japanese diplomats, and in the Russian capital with South Korean and Russian officials. Negotiators from North and South Korea met separately in Beijing on Friday.

The U.S. negotiator says China has been trying to organize the next meeting of the six-party talks and will consult with participants about setting a precise date.

XS
SM
MD
LG