SEOUL -- The US chief negotiator for the six-party talks said Friday that he expects the denuclearization in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) can be finished in 2008.
"I sort of think that 2008 is about the time we should finish denuclearization, and I think once denuclearization is done, we should be able to move on to economic issues and really accelerate the pace of things that you are doing, but we first have to deal with this issue," said Christopher Hill, assistant secretary of state for Asia-Pacific affairs, in a meeting with South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung.
Hill said he hoped that South Korea would keep pace with DPRK's denuclearization in pursuing inter-Korean economic cooperation projects.
"First, we got to get through this nuclear problem. It's too small a peninsula for nuclear weapons, much too small. There are so many opportunities if we can get to complete denuclearization, so many good opportunities for the DPRK and the world," he said.
Hill is to visit DPRK on Monday to discuss the denuclearization issues and is expected to inspect several nuclear facilities in the country.