Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

11 October 2000

Transcript: Albright Says Cold War Can Thaw Even in Korea

(Toasts North Korea's Vice Marshall Jo)  (1660)
With goodwill and effort, the issues that divide communist North Korea
from South Korea, the United States and others in the region can be
resolved, according to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
In remarks at a dinner she hosted October 10 for North Korea's Vice
Marshall Jo Myong Rok, the special envoy of Kim Jong Il, Pyongyang's
ruler, Albright said the United States supports efforts at
reconciliation and peace on the divided Korean peninsula.
"The United States strongly supports efforts by Korean leaders to move
in the direction of reconciliation, stability and peace, and I hope
that our meetings here this week will improve the climate for further
progress," Albright told Jo.
"In most of the world, the Cold War ended a decade ago," Albright
said, "on the Korean Peninsula, it has lingered."
But, she added, "what was frozen can thaw, and what has been contested
ground can, over time, become common ground."
"There can be no doubt that solutions are possible to the security,
political and economic differences that exist between the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea, between
the DPRK and the United States, and in the region more broadly,"
Albright said.
Following is the official State Department transcript of Albright's
remarks:
(begin transcript)
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
October 11, 2000
As Delivered
REMARKS BY SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT
ON THE OCCASION OF THE VISIT OF
HIS EXCELLENCY VICE MARSHALL JO MYONG ROK
October 10, 2000
Washington, D.C.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Mr. Vice Marshall, members of the delegation from
the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, excellencies from the
diplomatic corps, distinguished senators and representatives from
Capitol Hill, colleagues and guests, good evening and welcome to the
Department of State.
We gather tonight in friendship with all the people of Korea to greet
Chairman Kim Jong Il's Special Envoy Vice Marshall Jo Myong Rok, along
with first Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok Ju and their colleagues upon
their historic visit to Washington.
This first ever high-level visit from Pyongyang is another remarkable
development in what has been a remarkable period. And may I depart
from my prepared remarks to say what an incredible week this has been.
The first, we were able to cheer on the fact that we have a new
Yugoslavia with President Kostunica.
(Applause.)
Then we have been dealing with the very difficult issues in the Middle
East that have occupied us literally day and night. And now we have
this remarkable visit. Clearly, this job has ups and downs.
(Laughter and Applause.)
But this is a historic meeting and dinner and time, and I am so very
glad to be able to welcome this distinguished group here.
Within the past four months, we have seen the two Korean leaders meet,
dialogues begin between the economic, cultural and defense ministers
of North and South, and easing of tensions along the DMZ, an
unprecedented display of unity at the Olympic Games and participation
by Pyongyang in the ASEAN regional forum.
The United States strongly supports efforts by Korean leaders to move
in the direction of reconciliation, stability and peace, and I hope
that our meetings here this week will improve the climate for further
progress.
In most of the world, the Cold War ended a decade ago. On the Korean
Peninsula, it has lingered. But what was frozen can thaw, and what has
been contested ground can, over time, become common ground.
There can be no doubt that solutions are possible to the security,
political and economic differences that exist between the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, between the DPRK
and the United States, and in the region more broadly.
But to find these solutions we must search for them mutually,
persistently, and in good faith. The United States is fully committed
to this quest. Vice Marshall's Jo's presence here this week is an
important and positive expression on Pyongyang's intentions as well.
President Clinton and Chairman Kim Jong Il have both made clear that
hostility between our two nations is not inevitable, nor desired by
our citizens, nor in the interests of our countries. And that is why
we must seize the opportunity to take the concrete steps required to
open a new and more hopeful chapter in our relations.
In that connection, I want to acknowledge the presence here tonight of
Dr. William Perry, our former Secretary of Defense who traveled on
behalf of President Clinton to North Korea last year. His mission was
to determine whether it was possible to begin this process of seeking
better and more normal ties. Dr. Perry was cordially received in
Pyongyang, and the productive discussions he held there helped set the
stage for this extraordinary evening.
(Applause.)
Mr. Vice Marshall, I say again welcome to you and to the members of
your delegation. Your stay in our capital will not be long, but I hope
you will experience the hospitality of the American people, recognize
our commitment to peace, and understand our desire to work
pragmatically to overcome differences and find ways to benefit the
citizens of both our countries.
Tonight is for relaxation and for getting to know one another better,
but tomorrow we will resume our discussions, and I know you will
forthright in stating your views, as will I. It is equally important
that we be good and careful listeners.
There have been times in the past, I know, when our negotiators have
felt that arriving at agreements between our countries was like
climbing Korea's beautiful and rugged mountains; we would reach the
top of one, only to find another and then another peak still towering
ahead.
I hope that your visit here will mark the beginning of a more
rewarding journey, away from enmity and towards security and peace.
I have been told that in Korea's venerable and unique language there
are many possible endings for each verb. Clearly, there are many
possible endings to the process in which we are now mutually engaged.
This evening, I hope we will join in toasting our guests from the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea and our shared desire for an
ending that will bring a new era of prosperity and reconciliation to
the Land of the Morning Calm.
(Applause.)
(A toast was exchanged.)
CHAIRMAN JO: Ladies and gentlemen, may I take this opportunity, first
of all, to say thank you very much to all of you, and especially Her
Excellency Secretary of State Mrs. Madeleine Albright, for the warm
welcome and friendly hospitality accorded to me and to my party, and
also for this sumptuous dinner tonight in this friendly atmosphere.
And I certainly welcome and applaud the wonderful statement from
Secretary of State, a statement of goodwill and friendship towards our
people. As Her Excellency Secretary of State rightly pointed out, Dr.
William Perry has made an important contribution to the process of
normalizing relations between our two countries, especially through
his well-known Perry report and recommending the steps to be taken for
the improvement in relations. And we know that Dr. William Perry had
taken up an important mission in May last year, despite his advanced
age.
(Laughter.)
In the wake of the very historic Inter-Korean Summit meeting in June,
a lot of stumbling blocks have been removed on the way to better
reconciliation and cooperation, and removing mistrust equidistant
between the North and South. And that is often the way for the
encouraging developments, including the reunion of the separated
families and greater exchanges of human and material exchanges between
the North and South.
The dramatic and positive developments and changes taking place on the
Korean Peninsula clearly indicates the possibility of such dramatic
changes due to take place in the bilateral relations between the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States.
And we have encouraging signs and indications of further upgrading and
expanding contact and communications between our two countries,
including the first important meeting between our Minister of Foreign
Affairs and the US Secretary of State in Bangkok in July this year,
and also my current visit to the United States.
Chairman Kim Jong Il of the DPRK's National Defense Commission will
certainly make the very important political decision to turn the
current bilateral relations of confrontation and hostility into the
new relationship of friendship and cooperation and goodwill, if and
when the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and our leadership is
assured, is given the strong and concrete security assurances from the
United States for the state sovereignty and the territorial integrity
of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
On this visit to the United States in the capacity of the Special
Envoy of our Supreme Commander General Kim Jong Il, I have an
important mission already fulfilled of conveying the intentions and
views of our General Kim Jong Il to President Bill Clinton on the ways
of the improved relations between the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea and the United States.
We are optimistic in our statement that we can have (inaudible)
improvement in the relations between our two countries in the years
ahead, and which certainly go to the best interests of our two
peoples.
At this important significant opportunity and place, may I have the
pleasure of raising this toast to the health of Her Excellency
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other senior officials from
the State Department, other well-known political, economic and
business [persons], and our diplomatic representatives present here
who have worked so hard, with best wishes for the success of my visit
to the United States as the Special Envoy. May I raise this toast.
(Applause.)
(A toast was exchanged.)
(end transcript)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
      



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