Release of Two Journalists From North Korea

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Excerpt from Press Availability with Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula
Nairobi, Kenya
August 5, 2009

We have been working hard on the release of the two journalists. We have always considered that a totally separate issue from our efforts to reengage the North Koreans and have them return to the Six-Party Talks and work toward a commitment for the full, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. I was very pleased to get the news that my husband's plane had taken off from Pyongyang with the two young women on board. They are on their way to California where they will be reunited with their families. I had a very brief conversation with my husband, we did not go into the details of some of the questions that you are asking, there will be time to talk about that later. This was mostly just to communicate directly how relieved and pleased he was and we are with the successful completion of this mission. As I said in a long set of remarks in Thailand about two weeks ago, the future of our relationships with the North Koreans are really up to them. They have a choice; they can continue to follow a path that is filled with provocative actions which further isolates them from the international community, which resulted in the imposition of sanctions by the Security Council and the full cooperation of the international community, including and led by China, for the implementation of those sanctions under the resolution. Or they can decide to renew their discussions with the partners in the Six-Party Talks. We have always said there would be a chance to discuss bilateral matters with the North Koreans within that regional context and that is still the offer today.