Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
(New York, New York)
For Immediate Release
September 11, 2000
U.S.-JAPAN SECURITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE ("2+2") JOINT PRESS
AVAILABILITY WITH JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER KONO, JAPANESE
DEFENSE MINISTER TORASHIMA, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM
COHEN, AND U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT
New York, New York
September 11, 2000
QUESTION:  Foreign Minister Kono, I am sure you have heard of the
reports made from North Korea by Kim Jong-il that the North
Koreans might be willing to give up their missile program in
exchange perhaps for some assistance in satellite launches.  Does
the Japanese Government think that this is a genuine offer?
And for Secretary Albright, along the same lines, do you think
it's time for the United States to sit down and actually have
these talks with the North Koreans?  I know that you've been
exploring them with the Russians, but do you think it's time for
the US to sit down with the North Koreans?
FOREIGN MINISTER KONO:  With regard to your question, the North
Korean missile issue, we have heard from the Russians as well a
similar story. But we are not really sure; as Japan, we have not
been able to ascertain whether that really reflects the genuine
thinking or genuine feeling on the part of the North Koreans.
And since we can not ascertain that information as genuine policy
of theirs, we can not carry our policy any further than where we
are today.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT:  Well, as you know, we have had ongoing
discussions with them on a couple of subjects and we will
continue to do so as the opportunity presents itself.  And I
think all of us are interested in getting more definitive answers
on these questions.
QUESTION:  Secretary Cohen and Minister Torashima, the question
about the Korean Peninsula situation.  There was in June the
North-South summit, and since then there has been some
developments there.  Do you think that the tension on the Korean
Peninsula has been easing?  Do you think there are some clear
indications of such a loosening of tension?
SECRETARY COHEN:  We are encouraged by some of the steps that are
being taken by the North Koreans in dealing with the South Korean
Government and the people.  We see some encouraging signs, but
these are just first steps and we need to see much more in the
way of a substantive commitment to having a peaceful relationship
with the South and to see whether the North Korean Government is
willing to become fully integrated into the international
community.
So while we are encouraged, we will still look with great care
and take prudent measures to protect our security interests as we
see how events unfold.  But there certainly have been some
positive signs and we look forward to seeing if they can become
more deeply ingrained in the process.
DEFENSE MINISTER TORASHIMA:  I had great expectations for the
North- South summit and I have great expectations for the
ensuring results -- certainly a hope that there will be further
successes, and Japan certainly will provide great support for
such successes in the future.
Unfortunately, however, North Korea still -- it is most likely
that it is deployed No-Dong, which covers virtually all Japanese
territories, and we do not really see any change as of this
moment in the military situation on the Korean Peninsula.  We
will have to closely watch how this North-South summit will lead
to changes in the ballistic missile development in order to
further alleviate tension on the Korean Peninsula and to further
encourage positive developments.  I believe the trilateral
coordination between Japan, US and the Republic of Korea will
continue to be very important.
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