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Rice on Multilateral Talks on North Korea

Remarks on Multilateral Talks on North Korea

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
July 28, 2006

SECRETARY RICE: I want to thank all of you for joining me. We thought it was important that we have a discussion of Northeast Asian security and on security more broadly in Asia because Northeast Asia has clearly moved beyond the wars of the twentieth century and it's become a region of peace and prosperity that is an example to the world. But in order to make further progress, we do need to deal with the security problems that are currently bedeviling the region, most especially concerns about the nuclear programs of the DPRK.

The launching of seven ballistic missiles on July 4-5 here in Asia that violated a self-imposed missile moratorium was, indeed, a dangerous act and the Security Council has passed a resolution condemning it. This makes our discussion of Northeast Asian security more important at this time.

Despite that incident, I think that we do have a number of states that have enjoyed good cooperation on Northeast Asian security and we need a robust dialogue on Northeast Asian security. I hope that through today's gathering, we can begin the basis for such cooperation, a new regional dialogue that can help us to overcome historical tensions, help us to increase security, and help us to lay a better basis for enhanced prosperity throughout the region.

Most importantly, I hope that we can discuss our concerns about proliferation, about counter-terrorism, and how we can move forward on Resolution 1695, which expressed a desire of the Security Council to achieve peace through reliance on diplomatic tools including the implementation of the joint statement of the six parties that was adopted in September in Beijing.

It's unfortunate that the DPRK has been unwilling to return to the six-party talks. I want to reiterate from the point of view of the United States, the United States remains ready at any time, at any place and without any conditions to engage in those discussions in the six-party talks. We've been co-founders of the six-party talks and we look forward to their reengagement.

In the absence of that, though, I hope that we can have a discussion about how to move forward on issues of cooperation and security.

So thank you very much, and I want to especially thank again the Malaysians for the wonderful arrangements that they have made for us here.

And now if we can ask the press to leave, we can have our discussions.

2006/T19-12

Released on July 28, 2006

ENDS


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