Six party talks to end present round

Updated: 2007-07-20 03:38

The chief delegates to the Six Party talks will end their present round of discussions on Friday with a statement saying the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will declare and disable its nuclear facilities -- but no deadline, top U.S. negotiator Christopher Hill said Thursday.

The envoys will meet China's Foreign Minister at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, followed by a quick head delegates meeting, said Hill.

"We should be out of there by noon," Hill said.

He said the statement would lay out the sequence of events in the second phase, the tasks of all five working groups, and a new round Six Party plenary session.

Although the negotiators had talked long on putting an overall deadline in, the consensus "was kind of not very successful," Hill said.

"We should have working groups meet and have pretty clear ideas of how the sequencing of fuel oil will go and how the declaration and disablement will go before actually putting in the overall deadline," Hill said.

He still wanted the actions of the second phase to be taken by the end of this December, "and I still think it's possible".

Hill said the working groups should make decisions.

"The working groups should give us menus and give some options that are workable and then we need a real Six Party meeting to approve the sequencing of events," Hill said.

The next round of talks would probably be held at the end of August, said Hill.

The atmosphere was "businesslike" with everyone "very focused on the tasks ahead".

"Of all the Six Party rounds I've gone through, this was the best one," Hill said.

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