Special Representative for North Korea Policy
November 23, 2010
Stephen W. Bosworth
AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Good morning. It’s good to be back. The Embassy thinks that they don’t need to tell you who I am. I’ve just completed very useful and important consultations with the government of Japan. I met with Director General Saiki, Foreign Minister Maehara, Vice Foreign Minister Sasae, and last night I met with Deputy Cabinet Secretary Fukuyama.
These consultations are taking place in the immediate aftermath of the revelations regarding North Korea’s uranium enrichment program and the report on that by Dr. Siegfried Hecker, which has been featured in the press very recently. Just for the record, we were in touch with Dr. Hecker before he left for North Korea and we have been in touch with him very frequently since he came out of North Korea. Needless to say, we regard this development with great seriousness. We do not consider it a crisis, but it is a very serious development.
We believe that the North Koreans are in violation of a substantial number of international agreements that they have entered into and are in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. We are consulting with our partners in the Six-Party process. I was in Seoul yesterday, here yesterday, and I’m going on to Beijing today and I will spend some time there tomorrow. We are also reaching out to consult with Russia and a number of initiatives are underway with regard to the Russians. This, as I said, is a serious development.
It’s one that we must clearly take fully into account as we continue our coordination of moves designed to lead eventually to the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. It does not, however, in our view call for a reassessment of our entire strategy toward the DPRK and its nuclear programs, but it is a very serious development. We are committed to moving forward in very close coordination with our partners, particularly of course with our allies, the government of Japan and the government of South Korea. I’ll take a couple of questions if you have any.
QUESTION: Sir, what will your response be today when you visit Beijing and when they call for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks?
AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Well, clearly we have to take into account what we now know about the uranium enrichment program, and that’s something I will be talking to our friends in Beijing about – how best to do this. But as I said, we are not calling into question our overall approach to this, which is an approach based on a multilateral effort, close coordination with the other four countries involved, and a commitment to dialogue, and a continued pursuit of the implementation of the joint statement of September 2005. But we are very concerned as to the sincerity of the DPRK’s approach to this.
QUESTION: What are your preconditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?
AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Well, I don’t want to get into those in too great detail publicly. It would be premature. These are things that we are discussing with our partners. Clearly we do not contemplate resuming negotiations while active programs are underway or while there is a possibility that the North Koreans will test another nuclear device or test a missile.
QUESTION: What do you mean – is it a kind of precondition for North Korea to support [inaudible] for you to resume Six-Party Talks?
AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: I would rather not go into that at this point because we have not yet completed our consultations with our partners.
QUESTION: Are you willing to impose another sanction to the DPRK?
AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Well, we’re certainly going to maintain the existing sanctions until the DPRK has, as called for in UN resolution 1874, made significant progress in the implementation of their commitments to denuclearization.
QUESTION: What would you expect China to do on this matter?
AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Well, China also adheres to the joint statement of September ’05 and I should think without question we are all prepared to keep moving forward in the implementation of that. But I’m not going to comment on what China might or might not do, certainly not before I talk to them about it. OK. Thank you very much