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Remarks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan


Remarks
Robert R. King
Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues 
Tokyo, Japan
June 8, 2012

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AMBASSADOR KING: I’ve just finished meeting with Vice Foreign Minister Sasae and with Mr. Sugiyama, the Director General for Asia and Oceania. We had very good discussions about North Korea and about how we can cooperate on our policies in these areas. If you have any quick questions, I’d be willing to respond.

QUESTION: What kind of issues did you talk about with Sasae?

AMBASSADOR KING: We talked about the whole range of issues in our relationship dealing with North Korea. Primarily, in this case, on human rights issues.

QUESTION: How about the possibility of a nuclear test?

AMBASSADOR KING: We didn't talk about that, no. We were talking mostly human rights.

QUESTION: Karube, from Kyodo News. Ambassador, given that the circumstances have changed so much from February, could you specify at this point what would be the main conditions to resume food aid for North Korea?

AMBASSADOR KING: We’re not going to be resuming food aid at this point, the North Koreans have backed out of the understanding that we had in February. At this point the relationship is at a very different place, and that’s not something we’re looking at.

QUESTION: But what could be the precondition for the U.S. to reconsider about –

AMBASSADOR KING: We haven’t even considered that. At this point, that’s not an issue for us.

QUESTION: Do you detect any change in the North Korean Government’s treatment of humanitarian issues after the new leader Kim Jong-Un came to power?

AMBASSADOR KING: We haven’t noticed any change, we’re still concerned about the human rights violations that we see in North Korea. The change in government does not appear to have produced any changes in term of the human rights record.

Thanks very much.

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