Remarks to Reporters at the Lotte Hotel

Sung Kim
Special Representative for North Korea Policy 
Seoul, South Korea
May 27, 2015

AMBASSADOR KIM: Good afternoon. I want to first thank Ambassador Hwang Joon-kook and his colleagues for hosting this very timely trilateral consultation. We had very productive discussions, sharing our assessment of the situation in North Korea, including their rejection of all of our sincere diplomatic outreach efforts. We reaffirmed our commitment to continuing the closest possible trilateral coordination and consultation and also maintaining Five-Party unity, including with China and Russia.

We agreed on the importance of enhancing pressure and sanctions on North Korea, even as we keep all diplomatic options on the table. We also agreed on the importance of working with the international community to address the grave human rights situation in North Korea. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Ambassador, what kind of additional steps do you plan to ask China to take to get North Korea, to pressure it to come to the negotiating table?

AMBASSADOR KIM: Well, I think the Chinese understand that as Chair of the Six-Party Process, they have a special responsibility to get the North Koreans to work with us towards denuclearization. I expect to have full consultations with Ambassador Wu Dawei Friday on how the Chinese may engage North Korea to bring the North Koreans to credible and authentic negotiations.

QUESTION: Ambassador, about the North Koreans latest SLBM test, has there been any discussion about taking it to the UN Security Council?

AMBASSADOR KIM: Obviously the North Koreans should refrain from all such actions. I don’t want to give the details of our information on it, but we did submit a letter to the sanctions committee expressing our concerns about the ejection test.

QUESTION: Regarding SLBM, what is the clear view of Washington on North Korean pictures of the test launch? Is that the same or do you see [inaudible] manipulated or is that the same as a nuclear?

AMBASSADOR KIM: I don’t want to comment on intelligence matters. I think whatever that may have been, it is of great concern to us that North Koreans are continuing to pursue such capabilities. I think the intention is clear. And we should be concerned regardless of the stage of their development.

Anything else?

QUESTION: Are there any plans to meet, all five countries except North Korea when you meet the next time?

AMBASSADOR KIM: Whether we would have a Five-Party meeting? We don’t have any specific plans at the moment, but as I mentioned earlier, it is very important to maintain Five-Party unity. In fact, that is something that we have enjoyed over the past year or so. I believe the Chinese and the Russians agree with us that denuclearization remains our fundamental goal and the North Koreans need to work with us towards that goal.

QUESTION: But would it not be pressure when all Five Parties meet, I mean, pressure on North Korea?

AMBASSADOR KIM: As I said, we don’t have any specific plans to have a Five-Party meeting at my level. But as you know there is a track 1.5 meeting in Tokyo happening this week, and that would be an opportunity for some Five-Party consultations.

QUESTION: Do you have any plan to have a dialogue with North Korea counterparts anywhere?


QUESTION: This time or in the near future?

AMBASSADOR KIM: There are no plans to meet with the North Koreans. But I think they understand that we are willing to engage them in a serious and sincere discussion about the nuclear issue. We have made that point very clear to them publicly, but also privately through the New York channel.

QUESTION: Did the three parties today agree on how you are going to enhance pressure on North Korea?

AMBASSADOR KIM: We agreed that we should be exploring all opportunities to increase pressure, not only in terms of better, stronger implementation of existing sanctions, but also looking at all other opportunities and avenues to increase pressure.

QUESTION: Could the other options include any more UN sanctions on North Korea [inaudible]?

AMBASSADOR KIM: Well, we don’t have any specific measures to announce today. But I think what’s clear is we agree that it’s important to enhance pressure on North Korea. As you know, they have rejected all of our sincere, serious, diplomatic outreach efforts so in a sense they have given us no choice but to cooperate on enhancing pressure on North Korea. Alright. Thank you.