Talks on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s nuclear disarmament focused yesterday on details of the upcoming disablement of its main nuclear complex, the chief US envoy said.
US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said he had a "useful exchange of information" with his DPRK counterpart, Kim Kye-gwan, including the scope of disablement and what type of measures can be taken.
"I think everything went smoothly. We weren't negotiating. We were more comparing notes," Hill told reporters after the day's discussions, which also included a meeting with China's nuclear delegate, Wu Dawei. "I think the six-party process is going forward."
Also participating in the talks are the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan and Russia.
Japan's Kyodo News agency reported that Kim said no problems had cropped up in the talks with Hill.
"At this stage, there are no major differences in opinion," he was quoted as saying.
Pyongyang has said it would disable its three nuclear facilities housed in its Yongbyon complex and declare all of its atomic programs by the end of the year.
A US-led team of experts was heading to the DPRK yesterday to start the disabling work. It follows another US team that traveled to Pyongyang, the DPRK's capital, earlier this month to prepare a plan for disabling Yongbyon.
"I must say we have a lot of work to do in the next couple of months … but as we get into '08, we will have even more work to do," Hill said. "That is the crucial and final phase which involves dismantlement and abandoning of all the weaponized plutonium."
In Seoul, ROK Foreign Minister Song Min-soon told reporters that the US team would carry out about 10 disablement measures on three Yongbyon facilities – the reactor, the reprocessing plant and the fuel fabrication plant.