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Albright to Meet North Korean Foreign Minister


26 July 2000

Transcript: Albright to Meet with North Korean Foreign Minister

Spokesman announces highest level U.S.-DPRK meeting ever

Secretary of State Madeline Albright will meet with North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun in Bangkok, Thailand July 28, the State Department announced.

The meeting will be the highest level meeting ever between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Spokesman Richard Boucher said in a July 26 press briefing in Honolulu, Hawaii.

"It is an introductory meeting but also a historic one, and a chance to discuss the issues in our bilateral relationship as it is evolving," Boucher told reporters en route to Bangkok.

Following is a transcript of the briefing:

(begin transcript)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman (Honolulu, Hawaii)

July 26, 2000

Press Briefing by Richard Boucher, Spokesman Honolulu, Hawaii en route Bangkok, Thailand

MR. BOUCHER: Secretary Albright will meet with North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun in Bangkok on Friday afternoon. This is the first meeting at the ministerial level with North Korea. This is an introductory meeting but nonetheless a historic one. She looks forward to discussing bilateral relations and the progress being made on issues of concern to the United States.

Q: This will be the highest level meeting ever right between the U.S. and North Korea?

MR. BOUCHER: Yes.

Q: Who requested this or how did it come about?

MR. BOUCHER: The meeting has been under discussion for some time. Last week in Berlin, Ambassador Charles Kartman had a meeting with his North Korean counterpart where they discussed the broad agenda between the United States and North Korea including bilateral relations and they, in that context, made preparations for this meeting.

Q: Is this going to be the event where she gets a sense of the North's offer to Putin last week about missiles?

MR. BOUCHER: I would expect the subject of missiles and their statements to the Russians to be raised. We'll see afterwards what kind of sense we get of detail.

Q: What would you like to see come out of the meeting?

MR. BOUCHER: I think we'll leave that until it happens. That's about all we have. Let me put it this way, we're not looking for any major announcements out of the meeting. It is an introductory meeting but also a historic one, and a chance to discuss the issues in our bilateral relationship as it is evolving.

Q: Logistically, the venue?

MR. BOUCHER: At the hotel.

Q: On the sidelines of the ARF?

MR. BOUCHER: Yes. The North Koreans are attending the ASEAN meetings and the Secretary is arriving for the closing part of those meetings.

Q: Is this in any sense (inaudible) the visit of a North Korean delegation to the United States?

MR. BOUCHER: The high level visit is still one of the subjects that's being discussed.

(end transcript)


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