Christopher Hill, US chief negotiator for the Six-Party Talks on the Korean
Peninsula nuclear issue, will travel to Beijing next Tuesday, sources with the
US embassy in China said yesterday.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
Christopher Hill, bottom center, speaks to journalists in Beijing
Thursday, July 13, 2006. Hill, who has been meeting Chinese leaders to
discuss North Korea's missile launches, said China had so far failed to
make headway in its campaign to bring North Korea back to six-party
nuclear talks. Hill is to return home later Thursday.[AP]
Although Hill's complete
schedule is not available yet, reports quoted an unnamed official of the US
State Department saying that he would meet with his six-party counterparts and
hold discussions with senior government officials "on bilateral, regional and
global issues of mutual interest."
As well as Beijing, Hill will also travel to Chengdu, capital of Southwest
China's Sichuan Province and the major industrial centres of Shanghai and
Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs, will
leave Washington on Sunday and visit Tokyo on Monday.
He will travel to Beijing on Tuesday and will stop in Seoul on September 11
before returning home the next day.
Analysts said Hill apparently wants to meet his counterparts from the three
nations to discuss how to deal with the long-stalled nuclear talks as well as
measures to deal with Pyongyang's missile tests in line with a UN Security
With the Six-Party Talks in a state of paralysis, Liu Jiangyong, a senior
researcher with Tsinghua University, said Hill is attempting "to break the
stalemate through a new round of shuttle diplomacy."
He said recent news reports that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
(DPRK) may be preparing to conduct a nuclear test are also likely to be on the
The nuclear talks have become more pressing after Pyongyang raised tensions
in early July by test-firing seven missiles despite international objections.
"The current situation is detrimental to dialogue in the East Asia region,"
He said the missile launches have sparked the upgrading of US and Japanese
military capabilities in the region, which will further disrupt the security
A peaceful solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula still
conforms to the interests of the United States and Japan, Liu said.
And that is why Hill is hoping to reaffirm and improve commitment from China,
Japan, the Republic of Korea to restart the talks, he said.
Liu said Seoul is taking similar action, as President Roh Moo-hyun is
reported to be about to visit the United States for the same purpose.
The Six-Party Talks, which involve China, the United States, the DPRK, the
Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan have been stalled since the fifth round last
November, with Pyongyang refusing to return to the table unless Washington
removes its financial sanctions.
(China Daily 09/01/2006 page2)