News

USIS Washington 
File

10 September 1998

TEXT: U.S.-NORTH KOREA (DPRK) TALKS MAKE PROGRESS

(Two sides agree to a number of steps to ease tensions)  (1270)



Washington -- Meeting in New York seven times from August 21 to
September 5, U.S. negotiators obtained commitments from their North
Korean counterparts on a range of issues of major concern to the U.S.,
our allies the Republic of Korea and Japan, and the region as a whole,
according to State Department Spokesman James Rubin.


"Both sides," Rubin said in a press statement released September 10,
"reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Agreed
Framework in its entirety, noting its vital importance for improved
bilateral relations."


The two sides agreed to a number of steps, including:

 

-- Both sides will continue serious discussions to clarify the nature
of the specific underground construction in the DPRK which is of
concern to the U.S.


-- The U.S., having reaffirmed its commitments, assured that the DPRK
will be provided with heavy fuel oil (HFO) and two light-water
reactors (LWR), as specified in the Agreed Framework.


-- The DPRK will resume and complete quickly canning of the remaining
spent fuel rods at Yongbyon.


-- Both sides will resume Missile Talks during the week of October 1
in New York.


-- Both sides will propose convening the Third Plenary meeting of the
Four Party Peace Talks by October.


-- Both sides will resume in September discussions on the status of
removing the DPRK from the list of terrorist nations.


Rubin also noted: "The-U.S. side stressed its concern over the DPRK's
recent missile launch, and the DPRK side stressed its interest in
seeking further sanctions-easing steps by the U.S."


Following is the official text of the State Department statement:



(begin text)



U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesman



STATEMENT BY JAMES P. RUBIN, SPOKESMAN



U.S.-DPRK TALKS



Meeting in New York seven times from August 21 to September 5, U.S.
negotiators obtained commitments from their North Korean counterparts
on a range of issues of major concern to the U.S., our allies the
Republic of Korea and Japan, and the region as a whole. The U.S.
objective in these talks was to obtain from the North Koreans concrete
steps that will reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula and in the
region, and to ensure that the DPRK continues to abide by all of the
terms of the Agreed Framework. Working closely with our allies, we
sought to remove DPRK threats to the Framework, to begin to clarify
certain North Korean underground construction activity of concern to
us, to raise our deep concerns over the missile test, and to restart
talks on their missile program.


In the talks, U.S. Special Envoy Charles Kartman led the U.S. side.
Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Owan, who returned to North Korea
September 7, headed the North Korean delegation.


As a result of the talks, we made progress on each of our goals.



-- The DPRK has agreed to continue the serious discussion, which began
in New York, about U.S. concerns with respect to the nature of certain
suspicious underground construction in North Korea. We made clear in
the New York talks that DPRK verbal assurances will not suffice to
meet our concerns. We intend to press for access to clarify the nature
of suspect construction, and we have already made the North Koreans
aware that access will be necessary to clarify our concerns.


-- The DPRK has agreed to resume missile talks on October 1, which
will allow us to press strongly our concerns about their production,
development, and export of missiles, as well as their further testing,
a serious concern heightened by the recent launch of a ballistic
missile by North Korea. We have made and will continue to make clear
to the North Koreans that such a missile launch should not be
repeated.


-- The DPRK will resume canning of remaining spent fuel rods starting
in mid- September. This canning is a North Korean obligation under the
Agreed Framework and is to be completed without further delay.


-- The DPRK has agreed to attend a third plenary of the Four Party
Talks in October.


-- The DPRK also agreed to restart talks on steps they need to take in
order to be removed from the U.S. list of state-sponsors of terrorism.


The U.S. has reaffirmed that it is living up to its commitments. It
will work to ensure that the DPRK will be provided with heavy fuel oil
(HFO) under the Agreed Framework, including resumption of HFO
shipments later this month and completion of the delivery of the
remaining 284,000 metric tons of HFO planned for this year within
1998. The U.S. also reaffirmed that the DPRK would be provided two
light water reactors (LWRs) by KEDO, in accordance with the Agreed
Framework. As we move forward in these areas, we will continue to
consult closely with the Congress. The U.S. will fully respect the
positions of the ROK and Japan and consult closely with them regarding
the LWR project implementation, as addressed in the U.S. press
statement resulting from the New York talks.


As we pursue our negotiations with North Korea on these difficult
issues, we will continue to consult closely with Congress and our
allies, the ROK and Japan.


There should be no doubt about our firm commitment to our bilateral
security arrangements with the ROK and Japan.




U.S. PRESS STATEMENT

September 10, 1998



Representatives of the United States of America and the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea held talks from August 21 to September 5,
1998, in New York.


The two sides discussed matters of bilateral and regional concern,
with particular emphasis on the implementation of the U.S.-DPRK Agreed
Framework of October 21, 1994. The-U.S. side stressed its concern over
the DPRK's recent missile launch, and the DPRK side stressed its
interest in seeking further sanctions-easing steps by the U.S.


Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the
Agreed Framework in its entirety, noting its vital importance for
improved bilateral relations.


The two sides agreed to a number of steps intended to improve
implementation of the Agreed Framework, deal with bilateral and
regional concerns, and contribute to peace and security on the Korean
Peninsula:


-- Both sides wilt continue serious discussions to clarify the nature
of the specific underground construction in the DPRK which is of
concern to the U.S., and agreed to determine the date and venue for
further talks through the New York channel.


-- The U.S., having reaffirmed its commitments, assured that the DPRK
will be provided with heavy fuel oil (HFO) and two light-water
reactors (LWR), as specified in the Agreed Framework. 1998 HFO
deliveries should resume by the second half of September and be
completed within 1998, and accelerated construction of the LWR project
should begin by November 1998.


-- The DPRK will resume by mid-September, and will complete quickly
and without interruption, canning of the remaining spent fuel rods at
Yongbyon.


-- Both sides will resume Missile Talks during the week of October 1
in New York.


-- Both sides will propose convening the Third Plenary meeting of the
Four Party Peace Talks by October. The specific date for this plenary
will be determined via Four Party working-level contacts. The two
sides expressed the expectation that the Third Plenary will result in
the formation of working groups to discuss tension reduction and
replacement of the Armistice with permanent peace arrangements.


-- Both sides will resume in September discussions on the status of
removing the DPRK from the list of terrorist nations.


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