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Foreign ministers meet in Seoul; value Albright`s visit to N.K.

Foreign ministers meet in Seoul; value Albright`s visit to N.K.

Posted October. 25, 2000 19:22,   


The foreign ministers of Korea, the United States and Japan held a tripartite meeting Wednesday at the Hotel Shilla in Seoul and assessed the result of U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's visit to North Korea. In their discussions, the three foreign ministers shared the view that inter-Korean, North Korea-U.S. and N.K.-Japan relations should be developed in a supplementary manner.

In their talks, Korean Foreign Affairs-Trade Minister Lee Joung-Binn, U. S. Secretary Madeleine Albright and Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono agreed that Albright's Pyongyang trip laid important groundwork for the improvement of N.K.-U.S. relations.

In a joint press conference following their talks, Minister Lee said the three nations are hoping that the ongoing efforts for inter-Korean tension reduction, reconciliation and cooperation, and humanitarian endeavors would be further developed, adding that they reaffirmed that this would contribute to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

The minister also stated that the three nations would build a framework of peace by promoting the four-party peace talks involving the two Koreas, the U. S. and China. The Koreas will play the leading role in the discussions, with the other two nations taking supporting roles, he added.

Secretary Albright disclosed that she had serious discussions with Pyongyang leaders and made substantial progress in the missile issue. She also revealed that she raised the question of the alleged North Korean abduction of Japanese nationals during her meetings with North Korean Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-Il.

However, the secretary stated that the issue of removing the North from the list of terrorist-sponsoring states was not the main topic of the bilateral talks and said the question of President Bill Clinton's visit to Pyongyang has yet to be decided.

Japanese Foreign Minister Kono said that during the ministers' meeting, the North's abduction of Japanese citizens was discussed and added that on the basis of Albright's briefings on her talks with the North Korean leaders, his government would be prepared for the forthcoming negotiations with Pyongyang on diplomatic rapprochement slated for Beijing Oct. 30.

Meanwhile, the U. S. secretary and the Japanese foreign minister held a separate meeting at the Regent Hyatt Hotel in the afternoon, and had an intensive discussion on the developments of their respective relations with the North.

Earlier in the day, President Kim Dae-Jung met with Albright and told her that progress in inter-Korean and North Korea-U.S. relations is desirable not only for peace on the Korean peninsula but also for stability and peace in Northeast Asia and the world.

President Kim, receiving a courtesy call from Japanese Foreign Minister Kono, stressed that the tripartite collaboration so far has been mainly aimed at security, but that hereafter should also be directed at inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation simultaneously for security.