DPRK Foreign Minister Makes Speech at ASEAN Regional Forum
Korean Central News Agency of DPRK
Pyongyang, August 5 (KCNA) -- DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho Saturday made a speech at the Ministerial Meeting of ASEAN Regional Forum held in Singapore.
The summit meeting and talks held here in Singapore, the first of its kind in the history of the DPRK-U.S. relations, served as a landmark milestone that had the most profound and positive impact on the situation in Asia and the Pacific.
A remarkable significance of international dimension wrought by the Singapore summit meeting lies in its demonstration that once mutual confidence is built, even the countries with long-standing hostility could resolve the regional and global peace and security issues through dialogue and negotiation.
The DPRK remains committed to actively developing friendly and cooperative relations with all the regional countries on the principles of respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit and making continued contributions to the common efforts of the ARF to implement confidence-building and preventive diplomacy.
The new trend of peace and stability created on the Korean Peninsula is a precious green shoot to be carefully attended to and jointly cultivated by all the regional countries for the sake of stable and constructive development of the situation throughout Asia and the Pacific.
The present situation of the Korean Peninsula can be said, in a word, to be a moment of history when the old is overthrown and the new is emerging.
Here on Sentosa Island in June, the leaders of the DPRK and the U.S. reached an epoch-making agreement.
The DPRK stands firm in its determination and commitment for implementing the DPRK-U.S. Joint Statement in a responsible and good-faith manner.
Confidence building is the key to the full implementation of the Joint Statement.
Confidence is not a sentiment to be cultivated overnight. In order to build full confidence between the DPRK and the U.S., it is essential for both sides to take simultaneous actions and phased steps to do what is possible one after another.
We believe that the only practical way for moving forward is to take a new approach of giving priority to confidence-building and implementing all items of the Joint Statement in a balanced, simultaneous and phased way.
Only when the U.S. ensures that we feel comfortable with and come close to it, will we be able to open our minds to the U.S. and show it in action.
This is the core essence of the spirit of the agreement shared by the leaders of the DPRK and the U.S.
What is alarming, however, is the insistent moves manifested within the U.S. to go back to the old, far from its leader's intention.
The DPRK-U.S. Joint Statement should not be permitted to fall prey to the American internal politics, inviting an adverse wind at odds with the intentions of the leaders.
We thought of doing something in response, if the U.S. would come with constructive ideas. However, as long as the U.S. does not show in practice its strong will to remove our concerns, there will be no case whereby we will move forward first unilaterally.
There is a Korean proverb which says "slow yet at bull's pace". A fastest and most reliable shortcut to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is to build confidence in good faith through taking one-by-one and phase-by-phase simultaneous actions.
In April this year, the DPRK has put forward a new strategic line of concentrating all its efforts on economic construction.
Economic revival and improved people's livelihood in our country will be good for peace, security and economic growth of the region at large. It will never be the contrary.
The international community should respond to our goodwill measures already taken for denuclearization with its constructive steps that would encourage and promote peace and economic development of the Korean Peninsula.
Availing myself of this opportunity, I express my expectation and conviction that all the ARF member states at this meeting would value this hard-won epoch-making chance for turnaround of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and do helpful work conducive to fundamentally resolving the Korean issues. -0-
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