Remarks With Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan Before Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ben Franklin Room
Washington, DC
December 6, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I am very pleased to welcome both Minister Kim and Minister Maehara to Washington. This is a landmark trilateral meeting between three strong partners. This meeting takes place at a time of grave concern in Northeast Asia amid the provocative attacks from North Korea. We are committed to our partners and we are committed to the preservation of peace and stability in Northeast Asia and on the Korean Peninsula.

I would like to ask for a moment of silence for the victims of shelling in South Korea. (Moment of silence observed.) Thank you.

Let me now turn to the foreign minister of Japan for his opening remarks.

FOREIGN MINISTER MAEHARA: (Via interpreter) Secretary Clinton and Minister Kim Sung-hwan, secretary of foreign affairs and trade of the Republic of Korea, it is a great pleasure that the three foreign ministers are able to get together, to together condemn the indiscriminate and cruel attacks on Yeonpyeong and to connect our efforts in the interest of the stability and peace of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. And I would like to express my gratitude to the – to Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton for taking the initiative to organize this meeting.

The three countries will go work together and firmly address this issue. And we’ll also firmly get the engagement of China and Russia in order to get DPRK live up to the commitment to give up all its nuclear programs as they promised in the Six-Party joint statement and get back to the track that they have committed to. And we will turn this meeting into one that will get the engagement, firm engagement, of China and Russia in our efforts as well.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister Maehara. And now, Minister Kim of the Republic of Korea.

FOREIGN MINISTER KIM: First of all, I wish to thank you, Secretary Clinton, for inviting Minster Maehara and myself and give a warm welcome to my delegation and Japanese delegation. And today’s trilateral is very timely in that cooperation among our three countries is very imperative, in that with the revelation of North Korean uranium enrichment program and also shelling on Yeonpyeong Island. And I look forward to have in-depth discussion on these issues. And as Minister Maehara said, I also look forward to have in-depth discussion on how to get and how to cooperate with China and Russia. And so today’s meeting, I hope, we can strengthen our cooperation on these issues. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister Kim. Now, we will ask the press to depart. We will see you again when we have our press conference in a few hours from now. Thank you.

PRN: 2010/1752