On January 20, 2011 (22:00 KST, 08:00 EST) South Korea’s global broadcaster Arirang News interviewed Duyeon Kim, Deputy Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferaiton, about the U.S.-China Summit with regards to the North Korean nuclear issue. Click here for the video.
As expected, the joint statement produced by Presidents Obama and Hu was not ground-breaking on the North Korean issue. It is hard to say that there were any substantially new achievements. However, it was still a positive outcome with some meaningful points because it reflected both sides’ positions on contentious issues (regardless of an agreement), and it generally kept in line with the position of Washington’s allies.
Washington and Beijing agreed on some key points in general and in principle, but many of those key points are reaffirmation of each other’s original positions. The language is also heavily nuanced, which is normal in public diplomatic rhetoric. It appears Beijing has not steered far away from its original stance, and we can still see that Washington and Beijing hold differing views on those same key points.
Here’s a run-down of some initial thoughts on points that stand out: (Click “read more”)
(1.) “The United States and China emphasized the importance of an improvement in North-South relations and agreed that sincere and constructive inter-Korean dialogue is an essential step.”
It’s clear South Korea’s position was reflected in the joint statement because Seoul, Washington and Tokyo are pushing for inter-Korean dialogue to precede the Six Party Talks in the wake of consecutive North Korean attacks.
(2.) “(In this context), the United States and China expressed concern regarding the DPRK’s claimed uranium enrichment program”
This is perhaps the most eye-catching because the joint statement specifically mentions “uranium enrichment program,” which is a term President Hu avoided in the joint press conference. This sentence is significant because it’s clear that Washington’s (and its allies’) position has been reflected in the joint statement, and it’s significant because it the term “uranium enrichment program” is specifically mentioned. It also shows Beijing is concerned about Pyongyang’s nuclear developments.
At the same time, however, the language has been left a bit vague to reflect Beijing’s main position with the phrase “claimed” uranium enrichment program. Just days before the summit, China’s foreign ministry made a public comment that failed to acknowledge the existence of a uranium enrichment facility shown to an American scientist last November. So it’s clear there are fundamental differences here.
Still, “the United States and China reiterated the need for concrete and effective steps to achieve the goal of denuclearization and for full implementation of the other commitments made in the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.” Hopefully this will translate into real action to jumpstart dialogue.
(3.) The joint statement did NOT specifically condemn North Korea’s attacks on South Korea: “Both sides expressed concern over heightened tensions on the Peninsula triggered by recent developments.”
However, President Obama said in their joint press conference that the two sides “agreed that North Korea must avoid further provocations.”
What’s most important is how North Korea will respond, and how Washington and Beijing will follow up on their joint statement.
The joint statement says, “The two sides called for the necessary steps that would allow for early resumption of the Six-Party Talks process to address this and other relevant issues.” However, Washington and Beijing still disagree on the mechanics of moving forward. The U.S., South Korea and Japan want inter-Korean dialogue first, then the Six Party Talks. China, on the other hand, wants the Six Party Talks first and THEN deal with all outstanding issues. The concern surrounding Beijing’s proposal is that Pyongyang’s attacks will remain unresolved and overshadowed by six party nuclear negotiations, which many argue is exactly what North Korea wants.
The allies want the road to dialogue to generally look something like this:
Some gesture of taking responsibility for attacks ==> Inter-Korean dialogue ==> Genuine action reflecting a sincere will to denuclearize ==> U.S.-North Korea dialogue ==> Six Party Talks.
Washington will be debriefing Seoul on the summit by sending a senior official to South Korea. But aside from the summit’s results, we’ll likely see a flurry of diplomacy among the six parties in the weeks and months to come. While it’s always tough to make predictions about diplomacy, we may see some real action as early as February, which is after President Obama’s State of the Union address next week.
Opinions are split on whether one should hope that Wednesday’s U.S.-China summit will help jumpstart diplomacy on the long dead-locked North Korean issue. Will it be clouded by other pressing issues like the economy? Does the U.S. have leverage? Will China move on North Korea? Will the summit end in symbolic formalities or tangible results?
But the reality is that this is perhaps the Obama administration’s only real chance to make a difference since both countries will soon begin preparations for leadership transitions in 2012. The most effective way to move Beijing is to persuade the Chinese president himself by an American president, head-to-head.
The summit’s joint statement will provide essential clues about the direction of diplomacy on North Korea. But the two leaders are walking into the summit oceans apart on some key points on mechanics. (Click “read more”)
President Hu Jintao has made Beijing’s position clear in his latest joint interview to the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal – he wants to first resume the Six Party Talks and then discuss all matters of concern including Korean tensions. Washington, on the other hand, wants inter-Korean dialogue to precede the Six Party Talks as well as a sincere North Korean gesture to denuclearize prior to negotiations.
Perhaps one of the biggest sticking points is North Korea’s recently unveiled uranium enrichment program. Beijing fails to publicly acknowledge the existence of the facility and has defended Pyongyang’s right to use nuclear energy. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said “We’ve never seen North Korea’s uranium enrichment facility… The situation is unclear right now.”
But Washington wants to work with Beijing to put an end to the North’s uranium enrichment program, which has clearly violated UN Resolutions and Six Party agreements. The two sides could revert to dealing with the uranium enrichment issue at the Six Party Talks, but the question is how to get there?
The fundamental challenge is persuading Beijing to move Pyongyang. China’s top policy priority is its own peaceful development, which it believes will only be achieved if there is regional peace and stability. This is particularly crucial as Hu Jintao hands over the reins to Xi Jinping next year. This means Beijing will be especially reluctant to aggravate Pyongyang as it fears instability in North Korea could cause spillover effects in Chinese territory.
The window of opportunity for Obama and Hu to find a lead and create an environment conducive for progress on North Korea will become increasingly narrow after the summit. President Obama needs to prod Hu to help contain further North Korean provocations and help create an environment for inter-Korean dialogue and eventual six nation dialogue.
This year and the next will be an attractive time for North Korea to engage in more provocations as Washington, Seoul and Beijing become preoccupied with leadership transitions in their respective countries. It will be an appealing time for Pyongyang to shake the U.S.-South Korea alliance as well. It will also be an opportune time for Pyongyang to show its “might and power” as it approaches its own 2012 deadline – perhaps with a bang or a barrage of fireworks, or both.
Until now Washington has maintained a reactive, rather than proactive, approach to the North Korean dilemma. Its will to make progress may have grown after revelations of Pyongyang’s uranium enrichment program.
Still, Iran overshadows North Korea on the White House policy agenda.
Resolving the North Korea issue is imperative to break the precedent for other rogue actors like Tehran who aspire to follow the Pyongyang model. But how far will the Obama administration go with just two years left in office packed with competing policy priorities?
As for the first step in the future of diplomacy on North Korea, Wednesday will determine whether the summit will be a hit or miss.
On January 4, 2011 (22:00 KST, 08:00 EST) Duyeon Kim, Deputy Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, appeared on South Korea’s leading broadcaster KBS’ special news program to discuss North Korean motives and discussed the forecast for the North Korean issue in 2011. English translation: Duyeon Kim, Deputy Director, […]
2010.12.6 TRILATERAL STATEMENT ROK, U.S., JAPAN: WASHINGTON, DC
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Seiji Maehara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea Kim Sung-hwan, and the Secretary of State of the United States of America Hillary Rodham Clinton, met in Washington, D.C., on December 6, 2010 for a ministerial trilateral. This meeting builds on longstanding efforts to intensify policy coordination and strategic dialogue among the three countries and reflects the need for greater trilateral cooperation in addressing enduring and emerging challenges. The Ministers noted that as three of the world’s major economies with shared values, the three nations have a common cause and responsibilities to maintain stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region and globally. (Click “read more”)
The Ministers recognized that the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-ROK Alliances and Japan-ROK partnership are essential to the maintenance of peace and stability in Asia. All three reaffirmed their mutual bilateral responsibilities and steadfast commitments under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America and the ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty, which serve as the foundations for the two alliance relationships. The Ministers resolved to build on mutual bilateral responsibilities to deal effectively with common security threats.
The Ministers pledged to maintain and enhance coordination and consultation on DPRK related issues. The Ministers expressed grave concerns about the DPRK’s November 23 artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island. Foreign Minister Maehara and Secretary Clinton offered their sincere condolences to the people of the ROK, particularly the victims of the unprovoked attack and their families. The Ministers strongly condemned the attack. They urged the DPRK to cease its provocative behavior and abide by the terms of the 1953 Armistice Agreement to preserve peace and stability not only in Northeast Asia but also in the wider region.
The Ministers affirmed that the DPRK’s provocative and belligerent behavior threatens all three countries and will be met with solidarity from all three countries.
The Ministers also condemned the DPRK’s construction of a uranium enrichment facility, highlighting that this was a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 and North Korea’s commitments under the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. They urged the DPRK to cease its provocative behavior and comply with its international obligations.
The Ministers reiterated their commitment to the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and reaffirmed that resumption of the Six-Party Talks will require the DPRK to make sincere efforts to improve relations with the ROK as well as taking concrete steps to demonstrate a genuine commitment to complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization. The three Ministers also decided to strengthen multilateral cooperation to prevent North Korean proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and reaffirmed that proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security.
The Ministers also looked forward to further enhancing cooperation with China and
Russia, in particular within the Six-Party Talks framework, on ways to deal with DPRK related issues, including an appropriate response to its recent provocative actions and denuclearization, emphasizing the implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The Ministers welcomed China’s support for United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 and looked forward to China’s efforts to urge North Korea to adhere to its commitments as articulated in the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of sanctions under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, including strengthening sanctions as necessary through their own national measures. The Ministers noted their willingness to improve relations with the DPRK, urging North Korea to first cease its provocative behavior, fully abide by the terms of the Armistice Agreement, and comply with its bilateral and international obligations.
The Ministers also underscored the importance of strengthening trilateral cooperation on economic, political, and security issues. They noted that the governments and peoples of Japan, the ROK, and the United States share a deep and abiding interest in maintaining peace, prosperity, and stability in the region; expanding the benefits of freer and more open trade; and promoting and protecting freedom, democracy, and human rights worldwide. The three nations shared a common understanding that it is necessary to strengthen, with all these measures, consultation and cooperation with every respective nation of the region, in order to maintain peace and security. The three nations underscored their enduring commitment to building strong, productive, and constructive relations with China, and to achieving a common objective of creating a peaceful Northeast Asian community of nations. They pledged to increase coordination and consultation on regional approaches in Asia, reiterated the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a fulcrum for regional multilateralism, and pledged to enhance preparatory efforts for the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit. The Ministers of Japan and ROK welcomed the United States’ full participation in the East Asia Summit from 2011. The three Ministers also suggested increasing coordination of development efforts in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on the Lower Mekong countries. They noted the importance of enhancing regional capacities for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
The Ministers exchanged ideas about ways to address the global challenges of terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, piracy, climate change, epidemic disease, energy security, promotion of green growth, freedom of navigation, and maritime security. They looked forward to efforts of their respective ministries to identify ways to coordinate joint endeavors in this regard. As three key donor countries, they noted how development assistance can increase stability and security and pledged to increase trilateral coordination of development assistance programs around the world to help achieve these shared goals. The Ministers also underscored the importance of security and stability in Afghanistan. The United States side welcomed the ROK’s sending of a Provincial Reconstruction Team and Japan’s role as the largest contributor of reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan. The Ministers committed to increase aid to the Palestinian Authority, noting the importance of a viable and enduring Middle East peace for global security. They also agreed to further cooperate to address the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear activities.
The Secretary of State highlighted the success of the recent G-20 Summit hosted by the ROK and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting hosted by Japan. The meetings highlighted the importance of open and free trade to global economic stability. The Ministers underscored the importance of APEC and pledged to cooperate in deepening regional economic integration under U.S. chairmanship in 2011. The Ministers also reaffirmed the need for a balanced global growth strategy and reaffirmed the principles of the G-20 Leaders’ Statement.
The Ministers noted that today’s Ministerial trilateral meeting was a timely and productive step forward and welcomed continued and strengthened trilateral interaction to complement the strong bilateral institutions and discussions that exist among the three nations.
2010.12.6 KIM-CLINTON-MAEHARA JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE
THE BEN FRANKLIN ROOM, THE STATE DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C. 3:46 P.M. EST, MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010 ?
Note: The foreign ministers’ remarks are provided through interpreter)
SEC. CLINTON: Good afternoon.
I am delighted to have both Minister Maehara of Japan and Minister Kim of the Republic of Korea here for these consultations and this historic trilateral meeting that underscores the strength of our shared commitment to advancing regional peace, prosperity and stability. These discussions illustrate the importance of the deep bilateral relationships that the United States has with Japan and with South Korea, as well as the value of the partnership between Japan and South Korea. Such strong relationships are the foundation for the unified position that our countries are taking with respect to North Korea.
We all agree that North Korea’s provocative and belligerent behavior jeopardizes peace and stability in Asia. We are deeply concerned by its unprovoked attack on the island of Yeonpyeong, resulting in the loss of South Korean lives. On behalf of the American people, I would like to convey our sympathies to the victims and their families. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We want the people of South Korea to know that we are standing shoulder-to- shoulder with you, and we are deeply committed to your defense. The minister and I share the view that the attack by the North Koreans violates the armistice agreement of 1953, that North Korea’s provocative and belligerent behavior threatens us all, and that it will be met with solidarity from all three countries.
This attack is the latest in a series of North Korean provocations. It has disclosed a uranium-enrichment program that violates U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, as well as North Korea’s commitments under the September 2005 joint statement of the six-party talks. And the sinking of the Cheonan, killing 46 South Korean sailors, deepened North Korea’s international isolation. From day one of the Obama administration, we have made clear that North Korea needs to change. The international community has repeatedly presented North Korean leadership with a path for greater engagement and integration. But thus far they have chosen the path of confrontation and isolation.
The path to a better relationship and a secure and prosperous future is still open to North Korea if it makes the right choices. We remain committed to seeking opportunities for dialogue, but we will not reward North Korea for shattering the peace or defying the international community.
This trilateral meeting reaffirmed the steps that North Korea must take in order for a resumption of six-party talks to produce results. North Korea must improve relations with the Republic of Korea and cease its provocative behavior. North Korea must also comply with its international obligations and take concrete steps to implement its denuclearization commitments under the September 2005 joint statement. As part of our comprehensive strategy going forward, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen will lead a delegation to South Korea tonight to enhance coordination on strategic deterrents. He will then visit Tokyo.
Next week, I will be sending a high-level team to Asia to follow up on today’s meeting. The ministers and I are also in close consultation with China and Russia. I have emphasized to my Chinese colleagues that China, as a vital partner in maintaining regional stability, a country with unique and strong ties with North Korea and chair of the six-party talks, has a special role to play in helping to shape North Korea’s behavior. We will continue to work closely with Beijing, Moscow and the rest of the international community to fully implement U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874.
Last night, President Obama spoke with Chinese President Hu. They reaffirmed the importance of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. And we appreciate Beijing’s initiative to propose an emergency six- party gathering. However, we first need an appropriate basis for the resumption of talks. Any effort, of course, must start with North Korea ceasing all provocative and belligerent behavior.
The U.S. treaty alliances with Japan and the Republic of Korea have been the foundation for peace and stability in Asia for decades, and the Japan-South Korea partnership helps form a triangle of stability and cooperation. The ministers and I reaffirmed our steadfast commitments under our respective defense treaties. In addition, on Friday, the Republic of Korea and the United States completed negotiations on a landmark Korea-U.S. free-trade agreement that will further strengthen the bonds between our two countries.
These strong bilateral relationships are now enhancing our trilateral cooperation, as well as all of our countries’ relationships with China. The United States is encouraged by steps that China, Japan and the Republic of Korea have taken to deepen their bilateral ties, because we believe that strong relationships among all four countries are an essential element of peace and stability in Asia.
The ministers and I also released a joint trilateral statement that provides a framework to enhance regional cooperation and collaboration. It articulates key principles for expanding trilateral cooperation not only on the Korean Peninsula, but in the lower Mekong, supporting Middle East — the Middle East peace process, enforcing U.N. sanctions to counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
And most importantly, we are in agreement to continue working closely together and to hold additional regular trilateral interactions. There’s a lot at stake, and we are committed to working through all the challenges that we face together. Let me please now turn this over to Minister Maehara.
MIN. MAEHARA: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much. A spate of incidents — (inaudible) — have shaken the region. And following that spate of provocations, the United States government and especially Secretary Clinton has organized this meeting, and I would like to express my special gratitude to Secretary Clinton. The recent shelling to — of Yeonpyeong Island, where unarmed citizens live, this armed attack by North Korea, there’s no reason for us to — we can find no reason to legitimatize that attack, and we’d like to express our heartfelt condolences to the people of Korea who’d been attacked. And I would like to express our strong support for the very calm and restrained response that the government and people of the Republic of Korea have taken in spite of such attack and would like to also very strongly condemn North Korea for having taken such an act. And I also seek a reaction on the part of DPRK, in the first place, to deal with the situation.
We also share grave concern with regard to the uranium enrichment program that was unveiled. This plan is a clear violation of the U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1714 and 1834, and also is a clear violation of the joint statement of the six parties of 2005. DPRK — we strongly condemn North Korea for their clear violation of the Security Council resolutions and the joint statement. And also, we demand North Korea to sincerely act in accordance with the commitment they made for the denuclearization of the peninsula. I would call on DPRK to comply with the Security Council resolutions and the joint statement of the six-party talks. And we also agree that there’s a need for concrete action by DPRK.
Also, the three countries agree that we would hope that China, which chairs the six-party talks, to play an even greater role in relation to North Korea. We also agree to step up our coordination and cooperation with the international community, including China and Russia. At this meeting, we confirmed that Japan, U.S. and ROK will, with strong determination, keep up their close coordination in order to prevent further escalation of the situation from the perspective of peace and stability of Northeast Asia. Last but not the least, I would like to express our respect to U.S. and ROK, for finally achieving agreement on the bilateral trade agreement, free-trade agreement, after negotiations.
MIN. KIM: First of all, I would like to express appreciation to Secretary Clinton for inviting Minister Maehara and myself to Washington, D.C., and for her warm welcome. This is my first visit since I came into office, and I believe my meetings with Secretary Clinton and Minister Maehara were most timely in meeting the challenges posed by North Korea. I also wish to thank the two ministers for expressing their sincere condolences to the victims of the attack on — of the Yeonpyeong Island.
The ministers of our three countries firmly share the view that North Korea’s armed attack poses a grave threat to the peace and security of not only the Korean Peninsula but also the entire Asian- Pacific region, and agreed to enhance collaboration and consultation on North Korean policy. We, the three ministers, agreed that North Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island is an unlawful act in clear violation of the U.N. charter, Korean armistice agreement of 1953 and basic agreement, and call on North Korea to cease its provocative behavior.
We also share the view that North Korea will face severe consequences if it engages further provocations. We also underscored that North Korea’s uranium-enrichment program is a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolution as well as the joint statement of the September 2005, and reaffirmed that we will continue our efforts to realize the common goals of complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea.
We also reaffirmed that in order for the heads of delegations of the six-party talks to get together, the appropriate circumstances must be put in place first, such as North Korea’s demonstration of its sincerity towards denuclearization, with action. Based on close coordination among the Republic of Korea, U.S. and Japan in dealing with North Korea, including the nuclear issue, the ministers agreed to make efforts to closely cooperate with other members of the six-party talks. Building on the outcomes of today’s meeting, I look forward to having close consultations with our partners on various levels, as well as further enhancing our trilateral cooperation. Thank you.
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister Kim.
STAFF: Well, we have time for only one question on each side. We’ll begin with — (off mic).
Q: Madame — can you hear me?
SEC. CLINTON: Yes.
Q: Hi, Madame Secretary, Mr. Ministers. A question for all of you on China. You’ve all spoken about the need for China to take some strong measures. What specifically would you like China to do? And what does it say to China that they were not invited here today, and how do you expect to get this done without them here? And a question for the secretary, if I may, today WikiLeaks published a cable in which it published a list of sensitive national- security sites around the world. What are the ramifications for that release, and what involvement does the United States have in shutting down WikiLeaks’ financing? Thank you very much.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, first, China and Russia continue to be our partners in the six-party talks. We have been in very close contact with them. The trilateral ministerial is a meeting with our Northeast Asia treaty allies, and we look forward to China playing a vital role in regional diplomacy. They have a unique relationship with North Korea, and we would hope that China would work with us to send a clear, unmistakable message to North Korea that they have to demonstrate a seriousness of purpose in ending their provocative actions, and there are many ways that they can do that. And we will be focused on trying to work with our allies and our partners in the six-party talks to deliver that message. I’ll let each minister answer, and then I’ll come back to your questions.
MIN. MAEHARA: (I think ?) framework of the six-party talks is very important. And through the six-party talks the joint statement was issued in 2005 that North Korea should give up all nuclear- development program and commit to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. To realize this, not just the three countries but other countries that are participating in six-party talks, especially China, has an important role to play. And I think this perception is shared by Russia. This is not a mechanism (of a ?) dialogue for the purpose of dialogue. The six-party talks — and there is a framework to implement the 2005 Joint Statement, and we confirmed what we should together seek for that purpose. And I think it is extremely important that the three countries together make this call to the DPRK.
MIN. KIM: In relation to the question, as you’ve heard from the two ministers, until now, in order to contain North Korea’s provocation, there has been — China has done some and has done — made some contributions, and it is continuing. However, we would like China to have a more clear stance in giving warning to North Korea and to contain these provocative actions by North Korea, because these provocations is not at all helping the security of the region and the peninsula, so we would like China to play a more important role. And regarding this, we will consult closely with the United States and Japan.
SEC. CLINTON: As I have said on numerous occasions, the illegal publication of classified information poses real concerns, and even potential damage to our friends and partners around the world. I won’t comment on any specific alleged cable, but I will underscore that this theft of U.S. government information and its publication without regard to the consequences is deeply distressing. And we continue to address all of the challenges it presents and call on countries around the world and businesses to assist us in preventing any of the consequences that could either endanger individuals or other interests internationally.
Q: On the Japanese side — (off mike).
Q: (Speaks in Japanese.) Hinukai (sp), with Mainichi Shimbun. A question for Minister Maehara. At the foreign ministers’ meeting, what was the point that Japan stressed the most, and for what reason? I believe future response will be very important to uranium enrichment and shelling — following uranium enrichment and shelling. How — what sort of (inaudible word) action are you going to take? Will it ask for a response at U.N. Security Council? What specific measures will you seek for denuclearization? A third point: You referred to the role of China, and I wonder what views Japan has with regard to the role that China can play. And a last point: Secretary Clinton said that Admiral Mullen and other high officials of government will be sent very soon to Korea and Asia, and I wonder what role they’ll be playing.
MIN. MAEHARA: The major purpose of the meeting this time is for Japan and Korea, which are allies with the United States, to get together and in this tripartite format to discuss in response to this unforgivable attack on Yeonpyeongdo and the revelation of uranium enrichment, together condemned North Korea and instead of escalating the situation call on DPRK to act on their own responsibility to comply with the armistice agreement on the peninsula and take specific actions. As far as Japan is concerned, how are we to act on the six-party talks? We exchanged views on this question. Also, I expressed Japan’s position. We will, of course, continue to make use of the United Nations.
The uranium enrichment is something that will be a threat not just to Japan and ROK but to the international community, and I explained how we need to respond to that also as international community. Now, there was a question about China. Building on the tripartite discussions — (inaudible) — who is director-general of the Asian affairs bureau of the Japanese foreign minister, who also heads up Japan’s team to six-party talks, will be sent soon to China to explain what — you know, what is on Japan’s mind and what Japan intends to do so that the five parties will be together, be dealing with DPRK instead of creating situation of three countries versus three.
Q: (Off mic) — from Yonhap news agency. So, Madame Secretary and Minister Kim, you are rejecting China’s proposal for (emergency ?) meeting of chief nuclear envoys or envoys, this month? And are you considering bringing the — North Korea’s attack on South Korea Yeonpyeong Island and its uranium project to the U.N. Security Council?
Also, the — what do you think of the criticism that the — unlike the Clinton administration, the Obama administration closely follows the Bush administration’s hard-line policy on North Korea; maybe a bit stronger policy to prompt North Korea to increase (sic) its nuclear arsenal and the other provocations? My last question is: Have you discussed anything on Korea FTA’s ratification today? Thank you.
SEC. CLINTON: First, let me say that with regard to an emergency meeting with members of the six-party talks, North Korea first needs to take concrete steps to demonstrate a change of behavior. The six- party talks cannot substitute for action by North Korea to comply with its obligations. As you’ve already heard, North Korea should abide by the terms of the armistice, fulfill its requirements under the joint statement and comply with all of its obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions. They need to demonstrate a seriousness of purpose in ending their provocations and, you know, let the world know that they are now ready to come to the table and fulfill the commitments that they have already made, because the six-party talks cannot substitute for specific actions by North Korea to comply with all of its obligations. We have discussed the — a range of all the issues connected with our actions going forward.
We’re in consultations at the United Nations with members there. And we certainly did discuss the very important free — Korean free-trade agreement, because we think it’s so much in the interest of both of our countries, and we are going to be working together to expedite it with our respective governments and legislatures as quickly as possible.
STAFF: Thank you very much.
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you very much.
MIN. : (In English.) Yes, thank you.