Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Joint Communiqué Korea-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting

NEWS RELEASE
OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
(PUBLIC AFFAIRS)
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20301
September 21, 2000
32nd Republic of Korea - United States Security Consultative Meeting
Joint Communiqué
September 21, 2000
Seoul, Korea
1. The 32nd ROK-US Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) was held in
Seoul on September 21, 2000. ROK Minister of National Defense Cho
Seong Tae and US Secretary of Defense William Cohen led their
respective delegations, which included senior defense and foreign
affairs officials. Before the SCM, the Chairmen of the respective
Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Cho Yung Kil and General Henry Shelton,
presided over the 22nd ROK-US Military Committee Meeting (MCM) on
September 20.
2. Minister Cho and Secretary Cohen reviewed the current security
situation in and around the Korean Peninsula and assessed the positive
developments that have been taking place on the Korean Peninsula since
the historic inter-Korean summit meeting held in Pyongyang from June
13 to 15. Both Ministers hoped that active implementation of the
South-North Joint Declaration of June 15 would lead to broad
cooperation and a fundamental reduction of tensions on the Peninsula.
In this regard, Secretary Cohen welcomed the decision to hold an
inter-Korean Defense Ministers' meeting, and the two Ministers hoped
that a substantial discussion regarding military confidence-building
measures would take place there. Both defense ministers reaffirmed
that they would maintain close policy coordination toward the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) in order to
ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula
3. The two Ministers shared the view that the inter-Korean summit
meeting was the result of four factors: a) the engagement policy
towards North Korea, which has been consistently pursued by the
Republic of Korea and the United States; b) a strong ROK-US security
alliance; c) close ROK-Japan-US trilateral coordination; and d)
support by the international community.
4. Minister Cho and Secretary Cohen reaffirmed the importance of full
implementation of the 1992 Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization
of the Korean Peninsula, the Agreed Framework of 1994, and North
Korea's responsibilities under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and
associated safeguards agreement. With regard to the suspect
underground site at Kumchang-ri in North Korea, the two Ministers
expressed their satisfaction with the prompt completion of the second
visit there, which confirmed the conclusion of the first visit in May
1999 that the facility did not violate the Agreed Framework.
5. The two Ministers concurred that measures such as the reunion of
separated families, the continued dialogue between South and North
Korean authorities, inter-Korean economic cooperation, and the
reduction of loudspeaker denunciations along the DMZ have created a
positive environment for inter-Korean reconciliation. However, they
noted that North Korea's chemical, biological, nuclear, and long-range
missile programs continue to pose a threat to ROK, U.S. and regional
security. They urged North Korea to abide by international conventions
banning the production, possession, and use of these weapons. The two
Ministers emphasized the need for North Korea to take substantial and
verifiable measures to reduce military tensions and support the
positive environment created by recent inter-Korean dialogue and
diplomatic progress between North Korea and other countries.
6. Both Ministers welcomed the efforts by the U.S. and North Korea to
hold bilateral talks on matters such as nuclear nonproliferation,
missiles, and terrorism. They also took positive note of the first
meeting between the U.S. Secretary of State and the North Korean
Foreign Minister, held at the ASEAN Region Forum (ARF) in July 2000.
In particular, the two Ministers welcomed North Korea's reaffirmation
in June 2000 of its missile testing moratorium and the resumption of
US-DPRK missile talks. They also hoped that the U.S. and North Korea
would resolve issues of mutual interest through dialogue, leading to
the improvement and development of their bilateral relationship.
7. Minister Cho and Secretary Cohen shared the view that the Four
Party Talks are a valuable forum for the reduction of tensions and
establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. Both
Ministers expect that the recent developments in inter-Korean
relations and US-DPRK relations will result in a resumption of the
Four Party Talks. Both Ministers reaffirmed that the Military
Armistice Agreement of 1953 remains valid and should be observed until
superceded by a permanent peace regime.
8. Minister Cho and Secretary Cohen agreed that the ROK-US security
alliance is stronger than ever and that combined defense readiness
should be steadfastly maintained to deter a wide range of possible
threats and to reinforce engagement with the North. Secretary Cohen
reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to render prompt and effective
assistance to the ROK in deterring and repelling any armed attack
against the ROK, in accordance with the ROK-US Mutual Defense Treaty.
The U.S. also reaffirmed its commitment to provide a nuclear umbrella
for the ROK. The two Ministers agreed that in case of an emergency on
the Korean peninsula, the ROK and the U.S. would closely cooperate in
dealing with the situation. In this regard, they discussed several
practical steps, including the timely deployment of U.S.
reinforcements in an emergency. Both Ministers shared the view that
combined training and exercises are crucial in deterring war on the
Korean Peninsula and enhancing combined readiness.
9. Minister Cho and Secretary Cohen reaffirmed that the ROK-US
security alliance plays a pivotal role in maintaining peace and
stability on the Korean Peninsula. The two Ministers expressed their
belief that the alliance will serve to maintain peace and stability in
Northeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole even after the
immediate threat to stability has receded on the Korean Peninsula.
They also agreed that the two countries would most effectively promote
their common values and interests by maintaining their bilateral
security alliance for the long term, while adapting it to changing
circumstances. In this regard, the two Ministers agreed to continue
their joint efforts for the long-term development of ROK-US security
relations in the 21st century.
10. The two Ministers appreciated their two governments' joint efforts
through the Bilateral Coordination Group to establish the facts of
what happened at Nogun-ri and agreed to continue these efforts. Both
also noted that the Nogun-ri incident will not undermine the close
bilateral cooperation based upon trust and friendship built through
fifty years of partnership. In that regard, both Ministers agreed that
the process of establishing the facts of what happened at Nogun-ri
should be thorough, complete, and transparent, and should be concluded
as quickly as possible.
11. Minister Cho and Secretary Cohen expressed their satisfaction that
the negotiations to revise the SOFA had resumed in Seoul in August
2000 and that the ROK and the U.S. agreed to revise the SOFA as soon
as possible. The two Ministers concurred that the revision of the
SOFA, taking both sides' interests into full account, will positively
contribute to the long-term strength of the ROK-US alliance, and they
agreed to make active efforts for completing the SOFA revision process
as expeditiously as possible.
12. The two Ministers also agreed that the issue of adopting the ROK's
new missile guidelines should be resolved as soon as possible in
accordance with Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) guidelines.
13. Secretary Cohen announced that he had given authority to United
States Forces Korea to begin work with the Korean Government on the
development of a Land Partnership Plan. While recognizing the need for
cooperation on this plan, and for balancing the desires of the Korean
public and the training needs of U.S. Forces Korea, the two Ministers
agreed to fully discuss the detailed plan between USFK and the Korean
Government. The plan seeks to consolidate U.S. units and installations
through a small number of new land grants and the return of a
substantial amount of the land currently used by U.S. forces stationed
in the ROK.
14. Minister Cho and Secretary Cohen acknowledged the important
contributions of the SCM subcommittees on policy review, logistics
cooperation, security cooperation, and defense technology and industry
cooperation in facilitating consultations on, and resolution of,
issues between the two Ministries.
15. The two delegations agreed that the 32nd SCM and the 22nd MCM
provided an excellent opportunity to further solidify the ROK-US
security alliance and address issues related to their current and
future security relationship. Minister Cho and Secretary Cohen agreed
to maintain close consultations and to hold the next SCM at a mutually
convenient time in 2001 in Washington, D.C.
16. Secretary Cohen expressed his gratitude to Minister Cho for the
warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to the U.S. delegation
and also for the excellent arrangements that made this meeting such a
success.





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