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Diplomacy in Action

Remarks at Narita Airport

Kurt M. Campbell
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Tokyo, Japan
April 15, 2012


ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Well let me just say good afternoon everyone, I’m sorry to have people coming out on Sunday afternoon, but it’s very good to be back in Tokyo. I am here along with a team from the Department of Defense and my colleague Peter Lavoy, for consultations with Japanese counterparts. We’re going to be discussing a number of things, upcoming high-level diplomacy, force posture issues in Asia, developments in Okinawa. We’ll also be talking about areas of cooperation [between] the United States and Japan in Afghanistan, the work we are doing in advance of the ASEAN Regional Forum, and a variety of other bilateral engagements. Obviously we’ll be discussing recent developments in North Korea, we will be wanting to listen carefully to Japanese views about next steps.

I’ll also be travelling to South Korea on this trip to have similar consultations with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense officials. I think as you know, discussions are underway at the United Nations. The United States is in the Chair at the Security Council and I think there is a very strong sense among the partners, and you’ve seen it in the statements from the White House, from the G8, from Ambassador Rice, very strong condemnation of the provocative action that North Korea has taken that is in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and very clear and determined effort to send a strong message that further provocations would be most unwelcome. I’ll have a couple of other opportunities to give statements during the day tomorrow, but I’m happy to take a couple of very quick questions.

QUESTION: Sir, North Koreans have just revealed what appears to be a new missile in their parade today. Do you have any information on this?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: I’m sorry, I just got off the airplane, so I’ll have to get briefed but I’ll catch up with my colleagues about that.

QUESTION: Any comments on Kim Jong Un, apparently he just spoke for the first time.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Again, I apologize, I just got off a 14 hour flight so I haven’t been briefed on that.

QUESTION: According to news, he announced that North Korea would be a strong military nation. How would you respond to that?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Let me just say again, I haven’t had the opportunity to get briefed on what he has said, once I have a chance to learn a little bit more I’ll be happy to provide some commentary.

Thank you all very much.

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