Ambassador Bosworth To Lead Efforts on U.S. Engagement With North Korea

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Special Representative for North Korea Policy Ambassador Stephen Bosworth
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
February 26, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I am very pleased to be here today with Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, our Special Representative for North Korea Policy. He will be our senior official handling North Korea issues, and he will report to President Obama and me.

Ambassador Bosworth is wasting no time in undertaking his new assignment. Early next week, he will be departing for Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing and Moscow to consult on next steps to move the Six-Party process forward. Ambassador Bosworth, as some of you who have been around here a while know, is an experienced diplomat who will lead our efforts to address the full range of concerns with respect to North Korea, including its nuclear ambitions and its proliferation of sensitive weapons technology, as well as its human rights and humanitarian problems. He will work closely with our allies and partners to convince North Korea to become a constructive part of the international community.

Ambassador Bosworth will serve as our senior emissary for U.S. engagement with North Korea. Ambassador Sung Kim will be our Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks. He will closely work with Ambassador Bosworth and continue to lead our day-to-day efforts, including heading our Six-Party delegation and maintaining constant contact with our allies and our Six-Party partners.

Assistant Secretary Christopher Hill, our outgoing head of delegation for the Six-Party Talks, has invested great energy and skill in the years that he has served in this position. I am pleased that Secretary Hill has graciously agreed to continue serving our country by moving on to another challenging assignment.

Ambassador Bosworth has had a distinguished career that has prepared him well for this assignment. He is currently the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. A three-time ambassador including to the Republic of Korea, he is an experienced envoy poised to interact with officials at the highest levels of foreign governments. We believe his involvement will facilitate high-level engagement with North Korea and our other partners, and enhance our efforts to move forward in the Six-Party process and to realize our goal of the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.

Ambassador Bosworth.

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. Let me say just very briefly I consider public service to be a privilege, and I am honored by the confidence that you and the President have shown in me in asking me to take on what is obviously a very important set of responsibilities, and I look forward to it.

I’m leaving with Ambassador Sung Kim early next week for the region. As the Secretary indicated, we will be having extensive conversations there. I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends. Obviously, this is an enterprise in which the United States has a major role, but it is an enterprise which will not succeed unless we have the strong support of all of our allies and friends in the region. And I am going to dedicate myself, as I know Ambassador Hill has, to making sure that we move forward, but that we also move forward together. It’s important to operate from a basis of consensus.

So thank you again. I am truly delighted to have another opportunity to serve my country. Thank you for the privilege.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.

MR. WOOD: We have time for two – just two questions. The first one’s Elise Labott, CNN.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you. Congratulations, Ambassador Bosworth. You were recently in North Korea. Can you talk to us about any conclusions you have from meeting North Korean officials about the willingness to engage with Washington, as Secretary Clinton has expressed on her trip, and – or whether you think they may be consumed with their own issues, like the succession that Secretary Clinton also talked about? And do you plan to meet any North Korean officials on your trip? Have you reached out to them, since you’ve been (inaudible)? Tell us about how you plan to engage with North Korea. Thank you.

AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH: Well, obviously, we plan to engage with North Korea. The question as to whether we’re going to engage with them on this particular trip remains to be decided. That will depend upon our consultations in the region, and it will depend upon what we hear back from the North Koreans.

I was there earlier this month as a member of a private delegation. At that point, I had no idea I was going to be returning so soon, nor indeed in this particular role. I found the North Koreans, I thought, quite inclined toward continued dialogue with the United States and a continued commitment with the people of the region and the Six-Party process. Now obviously, I was not there speaking for the United States. I was not there as an official representative. But in my judgment, they see the benefits to them of engagement with the outside world and are prepared to move ahead.

Now, as we all know, this is a very complex issue, and a lot depends upon their internal assessment of our intentions, the intentions of their neighbors. So I would stop by saying, yes, I think they are inclined to continue the process of dialogue that Ambassador Hill and his colleagues have begun.

MR. WOOD: Last question to Lachlan Carmichael of AFP.


QUESTION: Hi. Madame Secretary, Foreign Minister Qureshi yesterday said that Pakistan wanted to have control over the drones. How do you resolve this dispute with them, the Pakistanis? And also, have you worked out intelligence-sharing arrangements with them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Lachlan, I am not going to discuss either of those matters. There are a range of issues that are being discussed both between the United States and Pakistan, and among the United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan as part of our policy review. These have been productive exchanges that have stretched out over several days. They’ve taken place several places around Washington, including the Defense Department and the State Department.

We are having a trilateral meeting in the State Department today. So there will be a range of issues that will be raised that cover all of the matters that have to be resolved among the three of us and among many others with whom we are broadly consulting as we determine the way forward. So I think it’s understandable that we won’t be discussing specifics, particularly regarding military strategy or intelligence. But I can say with great certainty that this has been a positive exchange of views, which I think has benefitted the delegations visiting us, as well as the United States.

MR. WOOD: Thank you very much.


PRN: 2009/166