News

USIS Washington 
File

25 September 1998

TEXT: U.S., JAPAN, ROK JOINT STATEMENT ON NORTH KOREA ISSUES

(Sept. 24 talks confirm importance of Agreed Framework) (850)



New York -- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met in New York with
her counterparts from the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan to discuss
and coordinate policies regarding North Korea, according to the Joint
Statement on North Korea Issues released by the State Department
September 24.


"The three Ministers confirmed the importance of maintaining the
Agreed Framework signed between the United States and North Korea in
October 1994 and the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization
(KEDO) as the most realistic and effective mechanisms for preventing
North Korea from advancing its nuclear program," the statement reads.
The three also urged North Korea "to implement fully the Agreed
Framework including the continued freeze of nuclear activities under
IAEA monitoring and to remove any doubts about its nuclear program."


The United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan deplore North
Korea's recent missile launch and agree that North Korea's missile
development, if unchecked, would adversely affect the peace and
security of Japan, the Republic of Korea and the entire Northeast Asia
region. North Korea's missile activity also raises "serious concerns"
about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their
delivery systems, according to the joint statement.


During their talks, Secretary Albright and her counterparts also
reviewed North Korea's agreement to continue discussions to clarify
the nature of suspect underground construction in North Korea, to
complete the canning of the remaining spent fuel rods at Yongbyon, and
to hold a third plenary meeting of the Four Party Talks and
discussions on terrorism, the statement says.


Following is the official text of the joint statement:



(begin text)



U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesman



For Immediate Release

September 24, l998



Joint Statement on North Korea Issues

by

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

of the Republic of Korea

and

The Secretary of State of the United States of America



Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura, Minister of Foreign
Affairs and Trade Hong Soon-young, and Secretary of State Madeleine K.
Albright met in New York on September 24, 1998 to discuss and
coordinate policies regarding North Korea.


The three Ministers confirmed the importance of maintaining the Agreed
Framework signed between the United States and North Korea in October
1994 and the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO)
as the most realistic and effective mechanisms for preventing North
Korea from advancing its nuclear program. They urged North Korea to
implement fully the Agreed Framework including the continued freeze of
nuclear activities under IAEA monitoring and to remove any doubts
about its nuclear program. Secretary Albright explained that the
recent U.S.-North Korea talks resulted in mutual reconfirmation of
U.S. and North Korean commitment to the Agreed Framework. Ministers
Koumura and Hong reaffirmed their support for the Agreed Framework and
all three Ministers reiterated their commitment to KEDO. The three
Ministers agreed to continue to consult and coordinate fully and
Secretary Albright stated that the U.S. would continue to fully
respect the positions of the governments of Japan and the Republic of
Korea in implementing the Agreed Framework, including the Light-Water
Reactor project.


The three Ministers deplored North Korea's recent missile launch. They
agreed that North Korea's missile development, if unchecked, would
adversely affect the peace and security of Japan, the Republic of
Korea and the entire Northeast Asia region, and that it raised serious
concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and
their delivery systems. They shared the concern and regret expressed
by the members of the United Nations Security Council over North
Korea's launching of a missile without prior notification to the
countries in the region, which was irresponsible and in disregard of
international safety norms.


They also reviewed the results of talks between the United States and
North Korea held from August 21 to September 5, 1998 in New York.
These results included resumption of U.S.-North Korea missile talks,
an important forum at which to address the North Korean missile issue.
Secretary Albright expressed the determination of the United States
Government to seek through those talks the cessation of North Korean
flight-testing, production, deployment, and export of missiles and
related material and technology. Ministers Koumura and Hong expressed
their support for these U.S. efforts and stressed the importance of
North Korea's committing to tangible steps in the missile talks.


The three Ministers also reviewed other, no less important steps that
the United States and North Korea have agreed upon recently. They
include North Korean agreement to continue serious discussions to
clarify the nature of suspect underground construction in North Korea,
to complete promptly the canning of the remaining spent fuel rods at
Yongbyon, and to hold a third plenary meeting of the Four Party Talks
and discussions on terrorism. The three Ministers agreed to consult
closely in all aspects of these talks.


They reaffirmed the importance of close consultation concerning
policies toward North Korea.


(end text)