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June 22, 2007
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Headline News of June 22, 2007
Christopher Hill in Tokyo, 20/06/07
US envoy Christopher Hill says North Korea is prepared for a prompt shut-down of its main nuclear reactor.

The Japanese island of Okinawa protests at plans to revise textbook accounts of army WWII activities.
Bans on alcohol and pornography in a bid to tackle child abuse in Aboriginal areas are racist, say critics.

BBC news transcript with photos
Transcript in the news of June 22, 2007 (With some misspelled words)  

The top of American nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill says North Korea has prepared to move quickly to close nuclear its reactor at Yongbyon. Speaking after the visit to Pyongyang, Mr. Hill says with time and effort nuclear weapon could be eliminated.  Mr. Hill was the first senior official to visit North Korea in almost five years. At a news conference he reviewed the meeting. 467A76D2.JPG

>> The talks were very detailed. Very substantive. And I believe they were also very useful and positive.

>> Ambassador Hill also had a few words to say about what could happen next.

>> The D.P.R.K., Indeed both of us reaffirm our commitment to the February agreement and to the complete fulfillment of that February agreement.

>> Our correspondent in Seoul, Charles Scanlon, told me Christopher Hill was actually more upbeat than normal.  He had been very frustrated to wait for the diplomats over the last four months while this whole process got bogged down in a financial wrangle over North Korean money that was frozen by U.S. sanctions.  So clearly he is a little more positive this time, but there is still a noted ambivalence there.  He said that he was void by the sense that de-nuclearizing North Korea was possible, but he was burdened by the thought how long and how difficult and how painful the process it is going to be.  And he was very short on details here. He said the North Korean were prepared to shut down the facilities at Yongbyon,  467A7725.JPG but they hadn't gone any details about which facilities or when.  So a lot of things are awfully ironed out.  I don't think Christopher is under any illusion as to how difficult the process still going to be.

>> One thing that periods to be ironed out is the dispute over frozen funds. Where are we at with that?

>> Well, I think that's pretty much resolved now. I think we're getting to the final days of that one. It's held up the process for two months. The latest reports from Russia, which is they should be on the way to North Korean banks any time soon. Christopher Hill says he wants to get beyond that issue. He doesn't want to talk about banks any more. He wants to talk about de-nuclearization.  And the North Koreans seem to agree with that. They invited him and they seem to have been prepared to discuss substantial issues this time.

N Korea reactor 'shut in weeks'
Christopher Hill - 22 June 2007
Mr Hill paid a surprise visit to North Korea for talks
North Korea has agreed to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor within three weeks, US nuclear envoy Christopher Hill has said.

Speaking on arrival at Tokyo airport, Mr Hill told reporters the timeframe began as of Friday.

The envoy made a surprise two-day trip to North Korea earlier this week for talks on its nuclear programme.

Pyongyang agreed in February to shut its reactor, but progress had been held up in a dispute over frozen funds.

North Korea said the talks with Mr Hill had been "comprehensive and productive", the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

The agency said the two sides agreed to resume six-party talks involving North Korea, South Korea, the US, Russia, Japan and China, in July.

UN nuclear watchdog inspectors plan to visit North Korea next week for the first time since they were forced out of the country in 2002.

Under the February deal, Pyongyang agreed to shut the reactor in return for $25m, frozen for nearly two years, to be sent from a bank in Macau to a North Korean account in Beijing.

After an initial delay, the transfer got under way with Russian intervention.

North Korea was also promised 50,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, to be supplied by the five other countries involved in the nuclear negotiations.




* Because production of these transcripts depend on a variety of factors, there are occasional spelling errors.

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