Christopher Hill said the road to peace on the Korean peninsula will be a difficult one, but that stronger relations among Korea, China and Japan could be the key to achieving the goal.
"I think we can improve the North Korean attitude if we have better coordination and cooperation involving China and Japan. My hope is we can do that and that we can have a closer understanding of how to proceed in a six-party context."
Speaking in an address to the National Assembly on Monday, the former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, who also led the U.S. delegation to the six-party talks on denuclearizing North Korea, also spoke about the prospects for a resumption of the talks.
He said that in the event the talks resume, the five parties of South Korea, the U.S., Japan, China and Russia need to agree that Pyongyang not be allowed to have or develop nuclear weapons.
"The North Korean committment was to abandon all of its nuclear programs and for this reason that has to be the starting point not the ending point of any subsequent negotiations."
Hill also took aim at hardliners in the U.S. who he said seem to be more interested in criticizing negotiations with North Korea than preventing the North from having nuclear weapons.
He said they are actually giving Pyongyang the hope that if they just stick to their guns, they will eventually be allowed to become a nuclear state in Northeast Asia.
"Mr. Hill said the most important part of any road map to peace and reunification for the two Koreas is that they do a lot more talking together. He also said the six-party talks are the best way to kickstart inter-Korean cooperation, describing them as a stepping stone towards reunification.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."