printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Afternoon Walkthrough With Journalists in Beijing

Stephen W. Bosworth
Special Representative for North Korea Policy 
Westin Chaoyang Hotel
Beijing, China
September 16, 2010


AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Good afternoon. It’s good to see familiar faces in this crowd. We have just completed our third stop in Northeast Asia in our process of coordination and consultation with our partners in the Six-Party process. As you know we were first in Seoul then yesterday we were in Tokyo and today here. I look forward to an early opportunity to have the same exchange with our Russian partners in the near future.

Here in Beijing it was very useful to exchange views with the Chinese Government, the Foreign Ministry. I had two very useful meetings one with Wu Dawei, Special Representative for Six-Party Talks, and then again today this morning with the Foreign Minister. I think we are in strong agreement on the importance of our joint undertakings to deal with the challenges of North Korea and the North Korean nuclear program. We in the United States certainly recognize, as does the Government of China, that we have a special responsibility within the Six-Party process to deal with this set of issues and challenges. We are convinced of the need to resume diplomatic activity and we will continue an exchange of views over the coming weeks and months on how best to bring that about. In particular, I think it is clear that the resumption of the Six-Party process does not depend just on what the five do. It also depends importantly on what we hear and see from the DPRK. This is basically a requirement that I think they have to come to terms with, and we look forward to the opportunity to continue exchanging views with our partners.

We continue to pursue basically a two pronged strategy: On the one hand we continue to enforce the sanctions which have been put in place over the last year or more on the DPRK, but simultaneously we remain open to dialogue and constructive engagement. We are not interested, as I said previously, in talking just for the sake of talking. As I stressed in all of my stops here in the region, we are interested in results, and I think that message is one on which there is very firm agreement among all of the participants in the Six-Party process at least among the five. So it’s been a very useful stop and I look forward to further opportunities to coordinate and consult with the Government of China on this important issue.

For the U.S. and China, I think given the series of meetings that have occurred last week, this week, and next week with President Obama meeting with Wen Jiabao in New York, it is clear that this area, this question of North Korea and the North Korean nuclear program, is seen by both governments as fundamental to our partnership and our relationship. So, with that, I would be happy to take a couple of questions.

QUESTION: Is there any indication that North Korea is willing to accept responsibility for the sunken South Korean ship?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: I see no indication of that. As you know, one of the things that we believe quite strongly is that as part of the process of re-engagement there has to be a re-engagement on the South-North axis as well, and I think there is some reason to be somewhat optimistic that at least part of that has begun.

QUESTION: Did your Chinese counterparts update you on any of the details from the recent meeting with Kim and President Hu?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: They have been very careful to keep us fully informed over the last few weeks on the results of their bilateral contacts, just as we keep them informed on any bilateral contacts that we might have. So I think we feel that they have done that very satisfactorily.

QUESTION: Mr. Bosworth, did you get any indication from the Chinese that we are any closer to resuming talks?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: No. At this point that would be purely speculative. I think we have a very clear understanding of the things that have to happen in order for the talks to resume. Obviously, the talks have to resume in order to produce results, but I think most important at present is our desire to be able to make a judgment that the talks will be fruitful and will produce specific, substantive results.

QUESTION: Mr. Ambassador, you keep on stressing that the DPRK should do a commitment. What should they do in concrete?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Well I don’t think it’s necessary to relate a detailed, specific list. If you look back at what they have committed to do earlier times in the Six- Party process, I think it’s quite clear that there remain things they have committed to do but have not yet done or things they committed to do, began to implement, and then reversed. And it’s that array of activities that we will be examining carefully over coming weeks. One last question.

QUESTION: [Inaudible] Why are you optimistic that the talks will even happen again?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Well I think we remain of the view that these talks are important, that we are committed to helping create the conditions that would make them possible. But the burden is not just on the United States or on the other members of the Six-Party Talks. The burden is quite clearly, as well, on the DPRK. It is their actions, and their activities and their statements that will over time determine whether or not the talks can resume, and then, whether the talks will be successful. So, thank you all very much. It’s been good to be here and I look forward to coming back in the not too distant future. Bye.


Back to Top

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.