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Interview with Campbell

Posted October. 04, 2005 03:07,   


Charles Campbell, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), said on Monday that he is willing to accept North Korea’s nuclear inspection of U.S. bases in Korea.

Korea and the U.S. are willing to accept mutual inspection with North Korea on nuclear facilities with a view to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue (as reported on the front page of the October 1 issue of this paper), but it is the first time a commander has mentioned the issue.

When asked what he thinks about North Korea’s insistence on including U.S. bases in Korea in the nuclear inspection on the Korean peninsula, Campbell told this paper Monday, “We can take appropriate measures if they are for peace and co-existence.”

He added, “[This issue] is a very political issue and requires cooperation between the related governments. We [the USFK] are an organization that carries out operations or missions following government policies.” This remark seems to suggest that the commander would not oppose a nuclear inspection of U.S. bases in Korea if only such an inspection has the backing of an international consensus.

Campbell met with a reporter of this paper at the third International Peace Marathon held in the Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Songpa, Seoul.

Campbell also said, “We have never violated the 1953 truce. I hope North Korea recognizes our commitment to mutual respect and peace building.”

Jae-Young Kim jaykim@donga.com