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Posts Tagged ‘Kim Sung-hwan’

Remarks With Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan Before Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 28, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Welcome, all of you here, and thank you for coming. As you can tell, we have a lot of people and a very, very small room. But we are with two close allies united by so many common interests and values. This is the fourth meeting that we’ve had in the past two years, including most recently this summer on the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Our three nations share a strong interest in the peaceful, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We will discuss today what further steps we can take toward that goal. We will also discuss how every nation in the region has a responsibility to work to resolve disputes peacefully, lower tensions, promote regional security and stability.

Our alliances with Japan and the Republic of Korea are cornerstones of peace and prosperity in the region and each of these countries represent an enormous success story about what can happen when nations are focused on peace and stability and giving more opportunities to their own people and developing good relationships with their neighbors. We will maintain close cooperation between the three of us. That is a top priority for the United States, and I’m delighted to be here with my friends and colleagues. Both ministers, Minister Gemba and Minister Kim, are people with whom I work closely, and I look forward to our discussion today.

Thank you.

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Remarks at the Top of a Meeting with Korean Foreign Minister Kim and Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Peace Palace
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
July 12, 2012

Thank you very much, Mr. Kim. And it’s a great pleasure to meet with my colleagues and friends, Foreign Minister Kim and Foreign Minister Gemba. I thank Foreign Minister Kim for hosting this meeting.

We began the three-way consultations two years ago in Washington. And we met again in Bali last year. And representatives from our three countries have met dozens of times in between. These consultations give us a chance to take stock of current regional and global challenges and opportunities, and to chart together a future for our trilateral partnership. So, I am very pleased we are convening again in the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum.

Since we last met, as Foreign Minister Kim has said, we have addressed unexpected challenges, including the death of Kim Jong Il, and North Korea’s recent missile launch in violation of United Nations resolutions. These events prove the importance of this trilateral framework, and the need to keep strengthening it. We share values and interests, as our joint statement reflects. As three democracies with a common vision on how to promote peace and prosperity, we all have a deep stake and a great responsibility to work together to strengthen and update a rules-based order for the Asia Pacific. This trilateral cooperation is about our shared future, and it is about how to deliver the greatest benefits to people in our three countries and across the region.

To translate these gatherings into results for our people, we need to bring even greater order and structure to this three-way partnership. So we welcome the newly framed steering committee, steering group. And I look forward to our consultation today and to our continued efforts to build even deeper connections among our three countries. Thank you, Foreign Minister Kim.

 

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Remarks With Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan and Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-Jin After Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea Kim Sung-Hwan, Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Korea Kim Kwan-Jin
Thomas Jefferson Room
Washington, DC
June 14, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me welcome all of you, particularly our Korean friends, to the Thomas Jefferson Room here in the State Department. Today, Secretary Panetta and I hosted the second session of the U.S.-Republic of Korea Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultation, what we call our 2+2 meeting. And it is a great pleasure to welcome Foreign Minister Kim and Defense Minister Kim to Washington as we continue to find ways to strengthen the global alliance and cooperation between our countries.

Today we discussed how our partnership has advanced in the three years since our two presidents set forth their joint vision for the alliance between the Republic of Korea and the United States. We are combating piracy together in the Indian Ocean, investing in sustainable development in Africa, promoting democracy and the rule of law and human rights around the world. It would be difficult to list all the ways we are working together.

We touched on how we are deepening our economic cooperation. Just a few months ago, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement officially entered into force, and it is already creating jobs and opportunities on both sides of the Pacific.

It is fitting that today is the Global Economic Statecraft Day at the State Department, because around the world in all of our embassies we are highlighting economic cooperation. And our relationship with the Republic of Korea is a textbook example of how our economic statecraft agenda can boost growth and create jobs.

As Korea has developed into an economic powerhouse, it has also steadily assumed greater responsibilities as a global leader. Today, it is an anchor of stability in the Asia Pacific and a go-to partner for the United States.

On the security side of our dialogue, we reaffirmed our commitment to the strategic alliance between our countries. Secretary Panetta will speak to our military cooperation, but I want to emphasize that the United States stands shoulder to shoulder with the Republic of Korea, and we will meet all of our security commitments. As part of this, we discussed further enhancements of our missile defense and ways to improve the interoperability of our systems.

Today we also agreed to expand our security cooperation to cover the increasing number of threats from cyberspace. I am pleased to announce that the United States and Korea will launch a bilateral dialogue on cyber issues. Working together, we can improve the security of our government, military, and commercial infrastructure, and better protect against cyber attacks.

With regard to North Korea, our message remains unchanged. North Korea must comply with its international obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874. It must abandon its nuclear weapons and all existing nuclear programs, including programs for uranium enrichment. And it must finally put the welfare of its own people first and respect the rights of its own citizens. Only under these circumstances will North Korea be able to end its isolation from the international community and alleviate the suffering of its people.

So again let me thank the ministers for our excellent discussions. And let me thank the Korean people for the friendship between our countries that continues to grow.

And now let me turn it over to Foreign Minister Kim.

FOREIGN MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) Let me first thank Secretary Clinton and Secretary Panetta for inviting Minister Kim and I to the ROK-U.S. 2+2 ministerial meeting. This meeting was first held for the first time in 2000 in Seoul. That was 60 years since the Korean War. And I am pleased that we held today the second 2+2 ministerial meeting this time in Washington. We took note that a number of alliance issues are proceeding as planned, and we had our agreement in that this will contribute to a greater combined defense system.

And we also agreed that should North Korea provoke again, then that we will show a very decisive response to such provocation. But we also shared our view that the road to dialogue and cooperation is open should North Korea stop its provocation and show a genuine change in its attitude by taking concrete measures.

Also, in order to enhance deterrence against North Korea’s potential provocation using nuclear and conventional forces, we decided to develop more effective and concrete (inaudible) policies. We also agreed to promote bilateral cooperation regarding North Korea, just as Secretary Clinton just mentioned, against cyber security threats, and will in this regard launch a whole-of-government consultative body.

We are concerned the human rights situation, the quality of life of the North Korean people, have reached a serious level and urge the North Korean Government to respect the human rights of its people and to improve their living condition.

The Republic of Korea welcomes the U.S. policy that places emphasis on the Asia Pacific. We agree that the increased U.S. role within the Asia Pacific region will greatly contribute to peace and stability in this region. We welcome the efforts of the Government of Myanmar to advance democracy and improve human rights and continue supporting such efforts.

Today’s meeting was very productive and meaningful in that it allowed us to review the current status of the alliance. And we also agreed to discuss a way forward for our strategic cooperation. We’ll continue to hold this 2+2 ministerial meeting in the future.

SECRETARY PANETTA: Secretary Clinton, Ministers, I was very pleased to be able to participate in this very important 2+2 meeting. I want to commend Secretary Clinton for her leadership in guiding us through this discussion, and also thank both ministers for their participation.

I’ve been very fortunate over the past year, since becoming Secretary of Defense, to have developed a very strong working relationship with my Korean counterparts. I’ve been – I made a visit to Korea last fall, and we have had a series of consultations such as this 2+2. I just returned, as many of you know, from a two-week trip to the Asia Pacific region, where I met with Minister Kim at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. And at the time, I made clear that the United States has made an enduring commitment to the security and prosperity of the Asia Pacific region, including the Korean Peninsula.

I also made clear that our military will rebalance towards the Asia Pacific region as part of our new defense strategy. As part of that strategy, even though the U.S. military will be smaller in the future, we will maintain a strong force presence in Korea which reflects the importance that we attach to that relationship and to the security mission that we are both involved with.

The United States and the Republic of Korea face many common security challenges in the Asia Pacific region and around the world, and today, we affirmed our commitment to forging a common strategic approach to addressing those challenges. I’m very pleased that we are progressing on our schedule to achieve the goals that we outlined in our Strategic Alliance 2015 base plan. We remain on track to transition operational control by December 2015 in accordance with the base plan timeline.

As the Strategic Alliance 2015 initiative proceeds, we will continue to consult closely with the Republic of Korea in order to ensure that the steps that we are taking are mutually beneficial and strengthen our alliance. During our meeting, we also discussed ways that we can further strengthen our alliance, including greater cooperation in the area of cyber security. To that end, we are making our bilateral military exercises more realistic through the introduction of cyber and network elements.

Another way to strengthen and modernize our alliance is by expanding our ongoing trilateral collaboration with Japan. On my trip to Asia, I was pleased to participate in a trilateral discussion that included the Republic of Korea and Japan, because this kind of security cooperation helps strengthen regional security and provides the additional deterrent with respect to North Korea. I’d like to thank the ministers again for their commitment to this alliance, and I look forward to hosting Minister Kim in Washington for the 44th Security Consultative Meeting in October. This alliance has stood the test of time, and today, we affirmed that it will remain an essential force for security and for prosperity in the 21st century.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Defense Minister.

DEFENSE MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) Today’s 2+2 ministerial meeting was held at a strategically critical moment amid continuing provocation threats from North Korea and volatile security environment in North Korea, a time which calls for a proactive alliance response.

Through today’s meeting, the two countries confirmed once again that the ROK-U.S. alliance is more solid than ever, and made it very clear that the alliance will strongly and consistently respond to any North Korean provocation, in particular regarding North Korean nuclear and missile threat. The ROK and the U.S. agreed to strengthen policy coordination to reaffirm the strong U.S. commitment to provide extended deterrents and to develop extended deterrent policies in an effective and substantial way. We also agreed to strengthen alliance capability against North Korea’s increasing asymmetric threats such as cyber threats like the DDoS attack and GPS jammings.

Furthermore, the two countries confirmed that the 2015 transition of operational control and the building of a new combined defense system are progressing as planned. We also confirmed that they were – ROK military will acquire the critical – military capabilities needed to lead the combined defense, and the U.S. military will provide bridging and engineering capabilities.

The two countries also confirmed that USFK bases relocation projects such as YRP and LPP are well underway and agreed to work to ensure that these projects are completed in time. We assess that combined exercises in the West Sea and Northwest Islands deter North Korean provocation and greatly contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. We agreed to continue these exercises under close bilateral coordination.

Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. alliance which was born in 1953 with the signing of the ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty. In the past six decades, the two countries worked to ensure a perfect security of the peninsula and have developed the alliance into the most successful alliance in history. In the future, the two countries will expand and deepen the scope and level of defense cooperation from the Korean Peninsula, and to the regional and global security issues, will continue evolving the alliance into the best alliance in the world for the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, and of the world. Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Scott starts.

QUESTION: Can we do it the reverse? I’m sorry. Scott and I always do this, get it a little confused. But in any case, thank you, Madam Secretary. I’d like to start out with Egypt, please. What is your reaction to dissolving parliament? Is this a step backwards?

And then also on Syria: For the second day in the media and the news, we’re talking about the weapons and the helicopters. By making this such a high-profile issue – and by pinning your strategy of shaming the Russians, are you running the risk of allowing Moscow to define what happens or doesn’t happen in Syria? In other words, I guess, where is the American strategy?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, with regard to Egypt, we are obviously monitoring the situation. We are engaged with Cairo about the implications of today’s court decision. So I won’t comment on the specifics until we know more.

But that said, throughout this process, the United States has stood in support of the aspirations of the Egyptian people for a peaceful, credible, and permanent democratic transition. Now ultimately, it is up to the Egyptian people to determine their own future. And we expect that this weekend’s presidential election will be held in an atmosphere that is conducive to it being peaceful, fair, and free. And in keeping with the commitments that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces made to the Egyptian people, we expect to see a full transfer of power to a democratically elected, civilian government.

There can be no going back on the democratic transition called for by the Egyptian people. The decisions on specific issues, of course, belong to the Egyptian people and their elected leaders. And they’ve made it clear that they want a president, a parliament, and a constitutional order that will reflect their will and advance their aspirations for political and economic reform. And that is exactly what they deserve to have.

Let me also note that we are concerned about recent decrees issued by the SCAF. Even if they are temporary, they appear to expand the power of the military to detain civilians and to roll back civil liberties.

Now regarding Syria, I spoke extensively about Syria yesterday. Our consultations with the United Nations, our allies and partners, and the Syrian opposition continue on the best way forward. Today, my deputy, Bill Burns, had a constructive meeting in Kabul with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. We don’t see eye to eye on all of the issues, but our discussions continue. And President Obama will see President Putin during the G-20 in Mexico.

We’re also intensifying our work with Special Envoy Kofi Annan on a viable post-Assad transition strategy. And I look forward to talking to him in the days ahead about setting parameters for the conference that he and I have discussed and that he is discussing with many international partners. Our work with the Syrian opposition also continues. Ambassador Ford is in Istanbul today for a conference with the opposition that Turkey is hosting.

So we’re working on multiple fronts. I think our strategy is very clear. We want to see an end to the violence, and we want to see the full implementation of Kofi Annan’s plans, including the political transition so that the people of Syria have the same opportunity that the people of the Republic of Korea or the United States have to choose their own leaders and to build their own future. And the work is urgent, because as you know, the Syrian Government continues to attack its own people, and the bloodshed has not ceased. And we have to do everything we can to end the violence and create a framework for a transition.

MS. NULAND: Next question: Kang Eui-Young from Yonhap News, please.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Thank you for the opportunity to give you question. I’m – name is Kang from the Yonhap News Agency. My question is for Minister – Defense Minister Kim. It is written in this statement that you have decided to develop a comprehensive alliance approach towards the missile defense. I want to know what this means. If you are referring to the missile defense, are you intending to build a Korea air missile defense or are you saying that you will be integrated into a U.S.-led missile defense? Could you elaborate on what missile defense system you are envisioning? You mention comprehensive alliance defense system. What – how does this build into the U.S.-led assistance?

DEFENSE MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) The position of the ROK military regarding the missile defense is this given the terrain of the Korean Peninsula. The most effective approach is a low-tier defense. And how will this be linked to the U.S. missile defense system? This is of the analysis – the studies that are being conducted right now. That’s what I mean by saying an effective combined air defense system.

QUESTION: Secretary Panetta, is the United States expanding intelligence gathering across Africa using small, unarmed, turbo-prop aircraft disguised as private planes, as reported by The Washington Post?

SECRETARY PANETTA: Well, I’m not going to discuss classified operations in that region, other than to say that we make an effort to work with all of the nations in that region to confront common threats and common challenges. And we have closely consulted and closely worked with our partners to develop approaches that make sure that the nations of that very important region do not confront the kind of serious threats that could jeopardize their peace and prosperity.

MODERATOR: Today’s last question will be from Ju Young Jim of SBS.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Reporter from the SBS, Ju. This is a question for Defense Minister Kim and Secretary Panetta. Right now, the Korean media is dealing – covering very extensively about the range extension of the Korean ballistic missiles and that the ROK side is insisting on 800 kilometer whereas the U.S. is insisting on 500 kilometer, where although the countries have agreed on the payload. Senator Carl Levin said that he is positive when it comes to the range extension. Has this issue been discussed at the 2+2, and will the two countries be able to show a concrete outcome by the end of the year?

One additional question is – this one is for Secretary Clinton. Kim Jong-un, the new leader, he has taken over his father, deceased father, and is now already six month as the new leader. How do you assess his leadership so far?

DEFENSE MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) Let me first address this range extension issue. This is still being discussed on the working level. This issue was not dealt at today’s 2+2 ministerial meeting.

SECRETARY PANETTA: In consultation and negotiations with the Republic of Korea with regards to this area, I think we’re making good progress. And our hope is that we can arrive at an agreeable solution soon.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Regarding the new leader in North Korea, I believe leaders are judged by what they do to help their people have better lives, whether they create stability and security, prosperity, opportunity. And this new young leader has a choice to make, and we are hoping that he will make a choice that benefits all of his people.

And we also believe strongly that North Korea will achieve nothing by threats or provocations, which will only continue to isolate the country and provide no real opportunity for engagement and work toward a better future. And so we hope that the new leadership in Pyongyang will live up to its agreements, will not engage in threats and provocations, will put the North Korean people first. Rather than spending money on implements of war, feed your people, provide education and healthcare, and lift your people out of poverty and isolation.

This young man, should he make a choice that would help bring North Korea into the 21st century, could go down in history as a transformative leader. Or he can continue the model of the past and eventually North Korea will change, because at some point people cannot live under such oppressive conditions – starving to death, being put into gulags, and having their basic human rights denied. So we’re hoping that he will chart a different course for his people.

MS. NULAND: Thank you very much.

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Remarks at the U.S.-Korea Ministerial Dialogue 2+2 Meetings

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea Kim Sung-Hwan, Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Korea Kim Kwan-Ji
Thomas Jefferson Room
Washington, DC
June 14, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much and let me welcome you to the plenary session of the second U.S.-Republic of Korea Ministerial 2+2 with the foreign ministers and defense ministers of both of our countries. It’s a real pleasure to have you here for this occasion. The relationship between our two countries has never been stronger.

In the three years that we have been working to implement our joint vision for the alliance between our nations, we have reached several milestones. Last October, we hosted President Lee in this room for the first state visit by a Korean president to the United States in over a decade. During that visit, we also celebrated the passage of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which has already begun to spur job creation and greater economic opportunity in both our nations.

At the same time, Korea has taken on a rising global profile. In the past few years, Korea hosted the G-20 showcasing its economic power; the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, which I was very pleased to attend; the Nuclear Security Summit, highlighting its leadership on global security; and now the World Expo in Yeosu, building ties between the Korean people and visitors from around the world.

So it’s clear that on many of the pressing issues of the 21st Century, the world is looking to Korea, and Korea has shouldered and welcomed its new and growing responsibilities. We share an unshakable partnership and we continue to seek new opportunities to strengthen our cooperation. We’ve enjoyed unprecedented coordination on a number of bilateral, regional, and global issues.

And most importantly, we consult closely and regularly on developments in North Korea. We continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Republic of Korea allies in the face of threats and provocations. And I look forward to continuing these consultations today.

Finally, I’d like to note that we are not only building our institutional ties through dialogues like this, we are also building connections between our people. This year we inaugurated our diplomatic exchange program between the United States State Department and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. And we have enjoyed hosting Kim Jae-shin. She’s become an invaluable member of our team enhancing our work with her insight and building connections between our offices. We would keep her forever if we could, Minister. And Minister Kim, I hope you will feel similarly when we send our first exchange officer to work with you later this year.

So thanks again to both Foreign Minister Kim and Defense Minister Kim. Thanks to Ambassador Choi for his presence here in Washington and working on our relationship year round. And thanks to my colleagues from the State and Defense Departments. We look forward to a productive discussion. And on that note, let me turn it over to Foreign Minister Kim.

FOREIGN MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) Secretary Clinton, Secretary Panetta, about two years ago the ROK and the U.S. held a 2+2 ministerial meeting for the first time. And now that we are holding this meeting the second time, I am very pleased.

Just as Secretary Clinton commented just a while ago, during the past year there have been great changes in the Republic of Korea, as well as the world as a whole, in keeping pace with the changes in the security environment. It is very significant that we are here today to review the changes that we need to continue making based on a very solid trust between our two leaders.

During the past four years we have laid very strong foundations for our alliance. Despite the continuing North Korean threat, the sinking of Cheonan warship, or with the shelling of the Yeonpyeong Islands, or the long-range missile launch, and we have shown an almost perfect cooperation. We’ve also handled some very complex alliance issues such as the OPCON transition or the base relocation.

And the Free Trade Agreement that entered into effect earlier this year has increased the scope of our alliance into the economic sector. Now we must ensure that we are not complacent with the achievement we’ve made thus far and try to move out into the world as an alliance under the slogan of a global Korea, that the Republic of Korea will continue to contribute to global issues, and we’ll continue to cooperate with the United States in this regard.

Hopefully this meeting will not only strengthen our alliance and send clear message to North Korea, but also try to seek what we can contribute to the region and the world as a whole. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Minister Kim. Secretary Panetta?

SECRETARY PANETTA: Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton. I would also like to join in welcoming Minister Kim and Defense Minister Kim to this second 2+2 ministers meeting dialogue.

We greatly appreciate the opportunity to assess the ongoing efforts of the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea, particularly as we continue to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War.

I want to extend my sincere and solemn appreciation for the shared sacrifice of our two nations’ veterans of the Korean War. It’s through their sacrifice and it’s through their commitment, and it’s through their continuing service that our men and women in uniform truly put their lives on the line in order to protect both of our countries. We are privileged to sit here today because of their efforts, and we embrace as always a very strong and enduring friendship.

As we face the many security challenges and opportunities on the horizon on the peninsula regionally and globally, we must forge a common strategic approach and address these issues collectively, rooted in friendship and in mutual interest.

One of the things that we have done at the Defense Department is to enact a new defense strategy that has made clear the importance of rebalancing to the Asia Pacific region. One of the cornerstones to our ability to effectively implement that strategy is the close partnership and relationship that we have with the Republic of Korea. That’s why it’s so important for us to come together, to meet to discuss our common views on the shared security challenges that we face, and to forge a common strategic approach to those challenges.

Thank you for your friendship and most importantly thank you for this historic alliance.

MODERATOR: (Inaudible) Defense Minister (inaudible).

DEFENSE MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) We are holding today here in Washington our second 2+2 ministerial meeting. And this is a very significant event. I want to first thank the U.S. side for hosting such a wonderful event. The current ROK-U.S. relationship, just as our two leaders named it last October, a partnership for peace and prosperity, is developing into a multi-dimension strategic alliance which address not only the security issues of the Korean Peninsula but moves out into the Asia Pacific and into the world. A recent poll show that over 80 percent of the ROK public believe that the alliance is contributing to the security of the ROK peninsula, of the Korean Peninsula, which is contributing also for the peace and stability of the region.

Especially in the defense area, the two countries have managed very stably the situation in the Korean Peninsula following the death of Kim Jong-il through a very close policy and military cooperation, especially the intelligence sharing and the combined crisis management system that we operated before and after North Korean long-range missile launch shows that we are very much prepared to counter North Korean threats. And we are going over – beyond these cooperations by addressing regional and global cooperation to show that we are indeed becoming multi-dimension strategic alliance.

Through our historic 2+2 meeting today, we want to reconfirm our will and our commitment for the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula as well as this region and the world as a whole, and demonstrate to the world the solidness of our alliance.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister.

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Remarks With Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan After Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 9, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:Well, good morning, and welcome to the State Department. It’s always a pleasure to have Foreign Minister Kim back in Washington. And I also have the honor of greeting incoming Ambassador Choi, who presented his credentials at the State Department this morning. I look forward to working with him as well.We have been consulting very closely and coordinating on a range of issues now for several years. And the reason is obvious: Korea is economic, political, and strategic leader, not only in the Asia Pacific, but around the world. That’s why President Lee speaks of a global Korea, and it’s why the United States and Korea are building a global partnership.

Today, once again, we discussed ways that we are strengthening our alliance, which is a lynchpin of America’s strategic engagement in the Asia Pacific. We spoke about our recent diplomacy with North Korea. And I want to be very clear: Any effort by anyone to drive a wedge between the United States and the Republic of Korea will fail. We consult closely on all aspects of our diplomacy. This will not change.

The minister and I also discussed the importance of coordinating closely with Japan, and we asked our teams to hold a trilateral meeting soon.

Of course, we went over the recent agreement by the DPRK to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests, nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment. The North also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities, and to confirm the disablement of the five-megawatt reactor and associated facilities. This is a modest step in the right direction, and we will be watching closely and judging North Korea’s leaders by their actions.

We also discussed the United States’ announcement that we would provide 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance for the most vulnerable populations in North Korea. Our team just met in Beijing with North Korean officials to discuss the administrative details of this program, and we are working to move it forward soon.

This is an important time for our critical partnership. In just six days, our free trade agreement will take effect, opening up new opportunities for jobs and commerce between our people. We believe that this agreement will create tens of thousands of jobs in both of our countries. And later this month, President Obama will travel to Seoul for the Nuclear Security Summit, where we will continue our efforts to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the wrong hands.

So on these and all the other issues on which we work together, I want to thank the foreign minister for another very productive meeting. Thank you, sir.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I thought we weren’t going to do English. I thought we were just going to do Korean. Yeah, thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, no no. You’re not going to translate me. We’re just going to translate the minister.

INTERPRETER: Great, great.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I would’ve stopped between – I would’ve never have subjected you to that. (Laughter.)

MR. KIM: (In Korean.)

FOREIGN MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) Good morning, everyone. I would like to express my special gratitude to Secretary Clinton for her invitation and warm hospitality. Today, as Secretary Clinton just mentioned, we had a very fruitful consultation on a wide range of issues. The ROK-U.S. alliance, considered to be in its best ever shape, has been the cornerstone of peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia for the last 60 years based on our common values and convictions, namely free democracy and market economy.

Secretary Clinton and I both recognized that the ROK-U.S. strategic alliance has been broadening and deepening itself since the adoption of our joint vision for the alliance in 2009, and we reaffirmed that our strategic alliance will be expanding its role in dealing with the issues on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia as well as global issues on the basis of our common values.

With regard to the North Korea nuclear issue, I reaffirmed my government’s position that we welcomed the result of the U.S.-DPRK discussions that took place in Beijing last month, and appreciated the close ROK-U.S. coordination that was intact throughout the dialogue process between Washington and Pyongyang. Furthermore, we shared the view that the outcome of the recent Beijing discussions is a meaningful first step towards resolving the North Korea nuclear issue, and underscored that faithful implementation of the necessary measures such as moratorium on Yongbyon nuclear activities and the return of IAEA inspectors is important. Secretary Clinton emphasized that there will not be a fundamental improvement of relations between Washington and Pyongyang without an improvement of inter-Korean relations. And we both agreed that dialogue should be promoted and relations should be improved between the two Koreas.

I mentioned that North Korea’s recent denunciations of the South are an attempt to render influence on the elections and the domestic politics of the ROK, and that they have relevance to North Korea’s own internal situations. Secretary Clinton shared this view and we agreed to continue our close communication on this situation within North Korea. Secretary Clinton and I agreed that continued coordination between the ROK and the U.S. will be the single most important factor in the coming discussions on the resumption of the Six-Party Talks, and we agreed to communicate closely at each level through channels such as the ROK-U.S. summit meeting that is scheduled to take place during the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.

Also, the KORUS FTA, which will take effect next week, has upgraded our alliance to a higher level. Secretary Clinton and I agreed to cooperate toward early realization of the tangible benefits that KORUS FTA will bring to us, such as job creation, expansion of trade, and sharpening of our competitiveness. We also agreed, based on such a comprehensive strategic alliance and going beyond the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, that the ROK and the U.S. will further strengthen our cooperation in global issues such as nonproliferation, including the Iranian nuclear issue, nuclear security, terrorism, development cooperation, human rights, and environment. In particular, we are working together for the success of the second Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Seoul this month, building upon the accomplishments we had at the last Washington summit.

Furthermore, Secretary Clinton and I shared the view that for a sustained development of the relationship between our two countries, support from the people of both nations is vital, and that both governments will make active efforts to this end. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Minister.

MS. NULAND: We have time for two questions today. We’ll start with Mr. Choi from KBS.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) My name is Choi Kyoosik from KBS. My question goes to Secretary Clinton with regard to the North Korean refugee issue. With regard to the situation that is going on in China, there are concerns arising in the international community. The Chinese Government considers the North Korean defectors as economic migrants, and they are repatriating them with – regardless of how they enter China. I would like to ask Secretary Clinton if the U.S. Government considers the North Korean defectors as refugees under the international agreements, and also I would like to ask if – what are the short-term and long-term policies of the U.S. Government with regard to this issue.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much. Let me begin by saying that the United States shares the concerns by both the government and the people of the Republic of Korea about the human rights situation in North Korea and the treatment of North Korean refugees. We urge every country to act according to international obligations. And those international obligations regarding the treatment of refugees are prescribed in the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees and the 1967 protocol.

We believe that refugees should not be repatriated and subjected once again to the dangers that they fled from. The treatment of North Korean refugees is an issue on which we have ongoing engagement with our partners, both in Korea and in China. We had Ambassador Davies raise our concerns about the North Korean refugees detained in China with senior Chinese officials when he was last in China in February. And we urge all countries in the region to cooperate in the protection of North Korean refugees within their territories. We continue to work with

international organizations in order to protect these refugees and to find durable, permanent solutions for them.

MS. NULAND: Last question. ABC, Luis Martinez.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Do you want – does she want to translate – I think yeah. I think our young woman here will translate me.

MS. NULAND: Okay.

QUESTION: I’ll just (inaudible) ask question. Okay.

MS. NULAND: Well, each –

PARTICIPANT: (In Korean.)

MS. NULAND: This is our last question. ABC, Luis Martinez.

QUESTION: Mr. Minister, Madam Secretary, as part of your discussions today, did you discuss a waiver on the Iranian oil sanction that are upcoming? And Madam Secretary, what is the progress of the talks with Japan on the similar waiver? And if I could ask – also ask you about – are you both optimistic that the Six-Party Talks will actually resume?

And switching to Syria, Madam Secretary —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Wait a minute. (Laughter.) I think two questions is your limit today. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Okay, Madam. Well, if I could, just a brief one on Syria: Four generals have defected to Turkey today. Is this a sign that the Assad regime is unraveling?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Okay. It’s Friday. (Laughter.) I want to begin by saying we are deeply gratified by the support that we have received from the Republic of Korea in building a global coalition to pressure Iran to change course. And we share the concerns of our Congress that the international community needs to take even stronger steps to stop the flow of cash to the Iranian regime from its oil sector. In that context, we have been working very closely with the Republic of Korea on ways that it can look for alternatives to Iranian oil and oil products.

Our goal is simple. We want the Iranian regime to feel the full weight of the international community from these measures, and to demonstrate unequivocally to them that the world is united against their efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. No country understands the threat of nuclear weapons from a neighbor better than the Republic of Korea.

And so we are continuing our very close, expert engagement. We’re not only talking with our friends like the Republic of Korea, but also oil producing partners about boosting production to shore up price stability and offer alternative avenues of supply. And I would be the first to say, we recognize the difficult decisions and even the sacrifices that we are asking from other countries in order to increase this pressure on Iran. Reigning in a dangerous government is not easy. That’s why we are so closely cooperating with respect to our approach toward North Korea, but also with our unified international approach toward Iran. We’ve got to stay united, and we have no better partner and ally than our friends in Korea. And so I think we will just continue our work together. We’re making progress and I think that is our assessment at this time.

With respect to Syria, we continue to hear about defections. There were reports today of four generals defecting. We continue to urge the Syrian army not to turn their weapons against their own people – defenseless civilians, women, and children. We continue to urge the international community to come together to take action; first, to provide humanitarian relief; and second, to work toward a political transition that would have a change in leadership to one that would respect the rights and dignity of the Syrian people.

I’ve made several calls today regarding the upcoming Arab League meeting in Cairo. I talked with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a few days ago about our hope that Russia will play a constructive role in ending the bloodshed and working toward a political transition in Syria, and I will be following up and meeting with him in New York on Monday. So we have an intense effort going on, and we are supporting the Arab League and their continuing leadership.

Thank you.

QUESTION: (In Korean.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t have a way to translate that. Thank you.

QUESTION: Okay.

SECRETARY CLINTON: We can provide a Korean readout to any Korean reporter.

FOREIGN MINISTER SUNG-HWAN: (Via interpreter) As for our Republic of ROK as well, we are participating in the sanctions on Iran, and we’ll keep discussing the specific measures to do that as well in the future. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all for your patience and have a good weekend.

 

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Here is a short statement from today’s press briefing along with a few pictures of Secretary Clinton with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan during a meeting before the fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea.  Mme. Secretary looks downright lyrical!

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Daily Press Briefing – November 29, 2011

Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
November 29, 2011

TRANSCRIPT:

1:04 p.m. EST

MR. TONER: Welcome to the State Department. I can report that the Secretary has arrived this evening in Busan. And tomorrow, which is our evening, she’ll attend the opening ceremony of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, where, as you know, she’ll give the keynote speech. Obviously, as we discussed yesterday in the phone backgrounder, the Secretary’s participation is a reflection of her commitment not only to development for its impact on our national security objectives, but also to demonstrate the need for all countries to put development on their national agendas.

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In the course of her jam-packed day two at ASEAN in Bali, Indonesia, Secretary Clinton participated in a series of bilaterals with her counterparts from a wide range of Asian countries. We see her here with Japanese Foreign Minister Matsumoto, Korean Foreign Minister Kim, Singaporean Foreign Minister Shanmugam, Bruneian Foreign Minister Mohammed Bolkiah, and Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

It is impossible for me to avoid commenting that Mme. Secretary is, once again,  beautifully color-coordinated with the backdrop as participants pose for the “family photo.”  Given that she has flown halfway around the world and cannot simply grab a pantsuit from her closet at a moment’s notice, I am wondering how complex packing is for her.  She must somehow receive advance notice, probably from the embassies, about what colors will dominate certain events and plan her traveling wardrobe accordingly.  Just thought I would mention this as I appreciate the effort that must go into it as well as the effect which never fails to be lovely.  Very pretty, Mme. Secretary.  Very pretty indeed!

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