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Diplomacy in Action

Remarks to the Media in Beijing, China


Remarks
Stephen W. Bosworth
Special Representative for North Korea Policy 
Westin Chaoyang Hotel
Beijing, China
November 23, 2010

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AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Good evening. It has been a long day but I will make a couple of remarks. First of all, I want to refer you to the statement issued by the White House today very early morning, Washington time, on the incident that occurred in the [Yellow] Sea involving the exchange of artillery fire initiated by the North Koreans. I won’t try to interpret or elaborate on the White House statement. I think it speaks for itself. The U.S. strongly condemns this aggression on the part of North Korea, and we stand firmly with our allies.

The subject did, of course, come up in my meetings with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and I think we both share the view that such conflict is very undesirable. I expressed to them the desire that restraint be exercised on all sides, and I think we agree on that. I am not going to take questions on this, but I would refer you to the White House statement if you have not already seen it.

My conversations here on the subject of how to address the concerns raised by North Korea’s revelations concerning their enriched uranium program were very useful. We had very full and complete exchanges of views. We agreed on the essential need for us to continue coordination and consultation on this issue, the uranium enrichment program, and of course on the subject of how most appropriately and most desirably to bring about a resumption of the Six-Party process. We agree that a multilateral approach to the problems of North Korea remains essential and that we are both committed to the full implementation of the September 2005 joint statement including, in particular of course, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. So I will take one or two questions, not on the incident in the [Yellow] Sea, but I will take one or two questions on the other subject.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Obviously what I was referring to two days ago took place before the exchange of artillery. I don’t want to characterize that as a crisis. I think the facts speak for themselves. Again, I would refer you to the White House statement, which I think expresses the position of the United States very strongly and very completely.

QUESTION: Are you going to North Korea now?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: No. I have no plans at this point to go to North Korea. I’m going home for Thanksgiving.

QUESTION: Is it an option for you to bring one of these issues this issue to the UN Security Council?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Which issue?

QUESTION: One or both.

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: That is something which, with regard to the enriched uranium issue, is something we are going to look at. We do not yet have a view on that, but clearly, as I said earlier in other statements, we consider that that was a violation of UN Security Council resolution. It is something we are looking at in the context of that.

QUESTION: Did you discuss with the Chinese Government on this issue?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Not really. No.

QUESTION: Doesn’t this put a severe setback on any possibility of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: The resumption of Six-Party Talks has never been an easy process. What we agreed today, in my conversations here, is that from the point of view of China and the United States, we strongly believe that a multilateral, diplomatic approach is the only way to realistically resolve these problems. We are very committed to continue to work at that in every way possible.

QUESTION: Do you have a theory about why today’s incident happened?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: No. Thank you. Goodnight.



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