Remarks to Press at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Glyn Davies
Special Representative for North Korea Policy 
Seoul, South Korea
November 22, 2013


AMBASSADOR DAVIES: Thank you very much, Tae-yong. It is delightful to be back in Seoul. This is the second stop on our visit to North Asia.

I was in Beijing yesterday and I made some extensive remarks in Beijing, and so I do not want to go into too much detail, again, having said so much yesterday. But let me echo what Ambassador Cho said, that the consultations, the quality of the consultations and the conversations between the United States and the Republic of Korea on this particular issue, the issue of North Korea, and in particular North Korean denuclearization, have never been more positive and more productive. We have already had a couple of hours of excellent discussions. We will have a chance tonight to go into further detail, and I fully expect and hope that in coming weeks and months our consultations and conversations will continue. So, thank you very much.

SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE CHO: (Through interpreter: We will take just one question.)

QUESTION: Mr. Davies, Reuters. Do you know why Newman has been arrested in North Korea, and why they are detaining him?

AMBASSADOR DAVIES: Yeah, I do not want to get into discussing that current consular case because we do not have a Privacy Act Waiver from the individual involved, so by law, I am enjoined from discussing details of it. But I will say that the United States government is making every effort to seek to resolve the consular cases that have arisen in North Korea, not simply that new case that you referred to, but also importantly, the case of Mr. Kenneth Bae, who has now been in North Korean custody for over a year. And we continue to call on the North Koreans to release Mr. Bae, and also this new individual, and we will bend every effort to seek to resolve these cases.

QUESTION: Mr. Davies, (inaudible) resuming the talks, and in your view, how close are Six Parties (inaudible)?

AMBASSADOR DAVIES: Well, let me just briefly address that. I spoke to this yesterday in Beijing. The single most important thing that we are looking for from North Korea is a sign of its sincerity, that it understands that it must fulfill its obligations to denuclearize, obligations it has made repeatedly. We have no interest in going back to Six-Party Talks absent concrete indications that North Korea is ready to give up its nuclear weapons, because that is the primary purpose of the Six-Party Talks process. So, we are looking for those signs, we are looking for those signals, we are looking for strong indications that North Korea is ready to move forward and take these steps. And so far, they are absent, so we call on North Korea to move meaningfully in the direction of the demands that have been made by the international community to give up its nuclear weapons. Thank you very much.