Remarks at Incheon International Airport

Ambassador Glyn Davies
Special Representative for North Korea Policy 
Incheon, South Korea
December 7, 2011

SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE GLYN DAVIES: You all set? Good. Well, thanks very much for coming out here today to greet me on this my first visit to Seoul in my new capacity as Special Representative for North Korea policy. I’m very excited to be here in Seoul to have discussions with senior members of the Korean government and in particular my counterpart, Ambassador Lim Sung Nam, with whom I already have a relationship, but I look forward very much to deepening it. I come today accompanied by Ford Hart, who is the special envoy for the Six-Party Talks, and we look forward to exchanging views with our Korean counterparts. In particular I’m happy to have the chance to see an old friend of mine, Ambassador Sung Kim, with whom I’ve worked for many years. And I think it’s terrific to have Sung representing the United States here in Korea. The final thing I want to do is compliment you on this airport. It is an absolutely spectacular facility, one of the best airports, I must say, that I’ve been in in recent years. So it’s great to be here. I’ll have three full days in Korea to try to get to know the issues from the ROK perspective and I hope tomorrow to have another chance to say a few words to you. Thank you very much. Appreciate that. Thank you.

QUESTION: Can we expect your government to hold more talks with North Korea? This month or when?

SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES: Well, that depends on North Korea. It all depends on the actions they take and the messages they convey, and so we are looking forward very much to hearing from them at some point. And there is always the possibility that we can once again get together. But it depends on the actions they take in fulfilling their obligations according to the 2005 statement and the UN Security Council resolutions. So we shall see about that. But one of things that I look forward to talking to Korean officials about is their perspective on the issues. The reason for that is: the most important aspect from our standpoint is this alliance that we have with South Korea. That, for us, is the bedrock of our policy on North Korea. So if you’ll permit me, I’m very anxious to get to work, to get into Seoul, to see Seoul – I haven’t been here in several years – and I’d like very much to begin my work. And tomorrow I hope to have more time to talk to you. All right? Thank you very much. Appreciate that. Thank you.

QUESTION: (from Yonhap News) When will you restart the six party talks?

SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES: Uh, well, we’ll have to wait and see. I mean, that’s again, this is my very first stop on a three-city tour. I’ll go from here to Tokyo and from there to Beijing. What I want to do first is talk to my counterparts, exchange views with them find out their perspectives, and we’ll, I think what we’ll do is we’ll take it from there. But it really is, as I said earlier, it’s up to the North Koreans to do the right thing. Thank you.

QUESTION: Ambassador, do you have the news report that the North Koreans are due to deploy the mobile ICBM?

SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES: I’ve seen the news report.

QUESTION: Yes, so how concerned are you?

SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES: Well, we don’t comment on intelligence matters or on matters such as that, so I really don’t have any comment for you on that.

QUESTION: Now, are you going to discuss this matter with your South Korean counterparts?

SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES: I think we’ll probably discuss every issue with our South Korean counterparts. Thanks very much.