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Diplomacy in Action

Remarks Before Departing for Japan, South Korea, India, and Singapore

Kurt M. Campbell
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Dulles Airport
Washington, DC
April 14, 2012


ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: First of all, let me apologize for having you have to come out on a lovely Saturday like today. I’m leaving this morning for Japan, South Korea, India, and Singapore for regular consultations on a whole range of issues. In Japan, we will be talking about force posture issues. We will be discussing developments on Okinawa. We will be discussing regional dynamics and upcoming high-level diplomacy. In South Korea, we will review developments on the Peninsula and a variety of other efforts that the United States and South Korea are principally engaged in.

Part of the U.S. approach to the Asia-Pacific region is a deeper dialogue with India and encouraging India’s “Look East” strategy and so we will be talking about specific initiatives that we will be taking with Delhi to support that effort as part of our Asia-Pacific consultations with them. In Singapore, we will be talking about the upcoming ASEAN Regional Forum and various multilateral issues with respect to ASEAN and U.S.-Singapore bilateral relations.

Obviously a key issue of discussion during this trip will be recent developments with regard to North Korea. I think you will have seen through the President’s statement from the White House, the Susan Rice statement yesterday at the United Nations, the G8 statement and others a swift and sure response from the international community on the recent North Korea provocations. There is a very strong determination among international partners in the Asia-Pacific region to send a very clear message to discourage further provocations from North Korea. I’m very much looking forward to consulting closely with our partners and allies in the region about the way forward. I’m happy to take just a couple of questions before I go.

QUESTION: Is the Leap Day agreement completely annulled or is that something that you hope to work on?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: I think Ben Rhodes explained clearly yesterday that it’s impossible to imagine under the current circumstances that we would move forward on that.

QUESTION: Japan seeks a resolution at the UN. Do you think the U.S. can work on that with Japan?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: First of all, Susan Rice is in charge of our diplomacy at the United Nations. We are in very close consultations both bilaterally and up in the UN in a multilateral dialogue with Japan on the way forward. I think Ambassador Rice really was very clear yesterday about where we stand in the diplomacy. I think the partnership with Japan on this issue has been very close. Yes, one last question.

QUESTION: Will you discuss additional steps, such as tougher sanctions, with your counterpart?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: I think Ambassador Rice was clear at this juncture we’re not going to discuss specifics but we will be discussing with our partners in Asia on possible steps and areas of coordination that we will take going forward. Ok. Thank you all.

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