Press Conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Press Availability
Stephen W. Bosworth
Special Representative for North Korea Policy 
Seoul, South Korea
May 8, 2009

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: We just had a very useful exchange with the Foreign Minister. We assessed where we now stand with regards to negotiations with North Korea and the Six-Party process, and I find that our views are very, very similar. We also talked a bit about possible steps forward.

We remain -- the U.S. and, I believe, South Korea -- remain convinced of the need to get back to the negotiating table and to continue to work toward the goal of the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We’ve been saying, for us, the Six-Party process is at the heart of the effort to deal with the North Korean nuclear issue. We are also prepared to deal with North Korea on a bilateral basis but in a way that reinforces the multilateral process. So we will continue to consult closely.

We’ve just come from Beijing, and we are on our way on Monday to Tokyo. And then we will conduct consultations as well with Russia. Ambassador Kim will be going to Russia.

I’m having further meetings here this afternoon, and I’m pleased to be here on such a beautiful day. It’s nice to be back in Seoul in the month of May. The weather is lovely. So, thank you all very much. Good to see you.

QUESTION: Ambassador, just a few questions. You said you discussed possible steps forward. I was just wondering whether you have any ideas about how to get the stalled talks going with the North Korea in the Six-Party process and was wondering if you have any plans to go to North Korea.

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: At this moment we have no plans to do anything specific.
I think it is important that we continue to coordinate very closely and we continue to emphasize that for us -- for the United States and, I believe, for all of the five parties -- the door to dialogue is always open.

QUESTION: Are you considering any other alternative multilateral framework?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: I’m not sure what that would be. But as I said, for the U.S. and, I believe, for everyone else -- the other four [parties] -- the need to deal with this on a multilateral basis is at the center of our policy.

QUESTION: The Six-Party process?


QUESTION: What can the United States do to prevent North Korea from carrying out a second nuclear test?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Not much. If the North Koreans decide to carry out a second nuclear test, we will deal with the consequences of that. And there will be consequences. But we can’t control, at this stage, what North Korea does. We certainly very much hope that they will not do a second nuclear test.

QUESTION: North Korea said that the Six-Party process is useless. Have you taken them at their word on that?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: I hope that that is not their final word and that they would conclude that it is in their interest to continue dialogue and negotiation on a multilateral basis.

QUESTION: North Korea said today that it was not very happy with U.S. hostile policy toward it. Do you have any idea of the future of U.S. foreign policy?

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Well, we would not interpret our policy as being hostile. As I’ve said, President Obama has stressed on numerous occasions that the door to dialogue remains open [and] that we are committed to resolving the problems that we face through negotiation and dialogue. So I don’t think that we can be interpreted as having a hostile policy. So, thank you all.