North Korea agrees to fast-track shut down of nuclear facilities

Friday, June 22, 2007

North Korea has agreed to speed up the shut down of their nuclear facilities, following a surprise visit from U.S. diplomat Christopher Hill. The meetings, between himself and North Korean foreign minister Pak Ui Chun, were described by Hill as "very good discussion[s]" and, "very detailed, very substantive, and I believe they were also very useful." Another big success attributed to Hill is the North Korean agreement to shut down every single one of their atomic programs. "We discussed all aspects of the six-party process. And all aspects means all aspects," said Hill.

The Japan-based, pro-North Korean newspaper, Chosun Sinbo, stated "On the ocassion[sic] of Assistant Secretary of State Hill's visit to the DPRK, the progress in DPRK-U.S. relations and implementating[sic] the six-party talks agreements will be accelerated," adding, "The DPRK does not wish to stand still, and it has no reason to delay the implementation of the (nuclear) agreement," DPRK stands for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.

Hill, ending his trip right on schedule, flies to South Korea and then to Japan to debrief his counterparts in their respective countries. Hill made this remark about the future: "So away from this two-day set of meetings, I sense that we are going to be able to achieve our full objectives – that is, complete denuclearization."