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Wolfowitz Remarks at the Japanese PM's Residence

Wolfowitz Remarks at the Japanese PM's Residence

NEWS TRANSCRIPT from the United States Department of Defense

DoD News Briefing Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz Tuesday, June 3, 2003

(Remarks following a meeting with Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister s Residence, Tokyo, Japan.)

Wolfowitz: We had a very good meeting. We talked about North Korea, and agreed that we need to continue the approach of dialogue and pressure through multilateral channels. It was discussed by our President and the Japanese Prime Minister at Crawford. We also talked some about our bilateral defense cooperation, which is outstanding, and I thanked Mr. Abe for his contribution in that regard. I knew his father quite well, the later Foreign Minister, when I worked in the State Department some years ago. I admired him, and we admire what his son is doing now.

Q: In the recent conversation between Koizumi and Mr. Bush, they talked about the pressure on North Korea. Did you talk about any concrete measures?

Wolfowitz: Not concrete measures, but I think the principle has got to be, as I said, dialogue and pressure. If North Korea will change its course -- the course it's on is a blind alley -- if it will change its course and become a reasonable, normal member of the international community in this part of the world, North Korea could benefit enormously, and its people would benefit enormously.

Q: Did you also bring up the topic of Iraq, mainly the sending of defense forces inside --

Wolfowitz: It was mentioned briefly, and we believe that the stand the Prime Minister took in support of the operation in Iraq was a courageous stand, but it was also clearly the right stand. We uncover every day in Iraq mass graves with thousands of corpses in them. Saddam Hussein abused his people horribly. I think it was the right thing to do. I think it was right for Japan to be part of that. Now there's an opportunity to build a new and free Iraq, and it's important, I think, for Japan, as the second largest economic power in the world, to participate in that effort as well. I'm going to have to go now. Thank you very much.

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