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Christopher Hill With DGFA Kenichiro Sasae

Joint Press Event With Director General Kenichiro Sasae

Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tokyo, Japan
October 16, 2006

DIRECTOR GENERAL SASAE: We just had a discussion between the two countries. It was a very good discussion, I think. We agreed that North Korea's nuclear test is not something that can be accepted, and that the U.S. and Japan will cooperate to ensure that the UN resolution is implemented smoothly. Especially, with regard to South Korea, China, Russia, and Australia, we will cooperate to ensure that these steps are smoothly implemented in order to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program and to respond to the missile issue sincerely. And on the abduction issue, we agreed to continue to press North Korea for a solution. In particular, we agreed that it is important for North Korea to return to the Six-Party Talks unconditionally. To that end, the U.S. and Japan will continue to do our best to make that a reality. We also reconfirmed the U.S.-Japan alliance and America's commitment to Japan's security.

QUESTION: Specifically, did the American side have any concrete plans for working together?

DIRECTOR GENERAL SASAE: Yes, we did talk about that in detail. In the future, between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, there will be cabinet-level meetings. Secretary Rice will go to South Korea and Beijing, so there will be meetings there about getting North Korea to come back to the Six-Party Talks. We discussed this.

QUESTION: I'd like to ask a question for Assistant Secretary Hill. You talked about U.S.-Japan cooperation in bringing about the sanctions. What will be the first step that you are going to take in a specific way?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: First of all, Secretary Rice will be here in two days. And the first purpose, really, is to reaffirm our very close relationship, our alliance. But probably the main part of the discussion will be how we can implement the UN Security Council resolution in a way to make it effective. We will be discussing that here in Tokyo, and then she will be going on to Seoul and then will go to Beijing, for I think it will be very important to discuss the implementation of this resolution. Throughout this entire period, the U.S. and Japan I think have worked together as never before to address this very difficult issue. I'm very pleased that our cooperation has been so strong, and even through the governmental change in Japan, where we're working very, very well with the new government. So we really value our cooperation, and we look forward to much more in the future.

QUESTION: We are all talking about in Japan inspections on the open seas of the ships of North Korea. In terms of specific implementation of ship inspection, what kind of cooperation does the U.S. call on Japan to provide?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, as you know, Japan has signed up to the principles of the Proliferation Security Initiative, and I think we will be discussing how to relate to the principles of the Proliferation Security Initiative to the UN Security Council resolution.

QUESTION: In terms of the specific timing, you haven't?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: The Security Council resolution was passed on Saturday in New York, and so obviously we have some work to do now to discuss implementation. But at this point, I'm not prepared to tell you specifically about timing except to say that we want the Security Council resolution to be effective in bringing North Korea around to implementing its obligations under the Joint Statement

Released on October 18, 2006


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