Remarks With Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se

John Kerry
Secretary of State
New York Palace Hotel
New York City
September 29, 2015

SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, good morning, everybody.  This is a first-ever trilateral meeting between the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan.  And I want to thank my colleagues and friends – the Foreign Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida; and the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, Yun Byung-se.  Thank you very much, both of you, for joining us here this morning for a discussion.

The primary purpose of this is to recognize that the region is going through certain challenges, but also faces major opportunities.  And as we are negotiating an historic trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, there are important economic opportunities, but there are also very important security challenges.  The Democratic Republic of Korea, the – North Korea presents an ongoing security challenge to everybody.  We will talk about that here this morning.  And also we face a common challenge with respect to climate change on a global basis, and we’re all working hard to lead into the Paris negotiations, which we are very much committed to and determined to make successful.  So I’m happy to welcome you here this morning; I look forward to our discussion. 

And my pleasure to recognize the minister from Japan first, and then my friend, Yun Byung-se.  Mr. Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA:  (Via interpreter) Well, thank you.  We are having the trilateral meeting today amongst the foreign ministers.  It’s being held after about one year.  Well, I’m very pleased to be meeting with Secretary Kerry as well as Minister Yun, and chairmanship is being served by Secretary Kerry.  Thank you for that.  We are so much thankful for your efforts. 

And also including DPRK issues, security involvement surrounding Asia and the Pacific continues to be very severe.  Given this environment, the role that the Japan-U.S. alliance and the U.S.-ROK alliance could play is becoming increasingly even more larger.  And in that context, it’s extremely useful to have foreign ministers meeting like this amongst the three countries, like we are doing this morning, and frankly discuss regional issues, including DPRK as well as other global issues.

Having discussion is so important.  Let us deepen further our three countries’ dialogue today as well and cooperation over wide areas, including security.  I hope that will be the case sincerely.  Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY:  Thank you very much, Fumio.

FOREIGN MINISTER YUN:  Thank you, John, and thank you, Minister Kishida.  Good morning everybody.  Last year, during the (inaudible) ministerial meeting, we had a very good conversation on our mutual common interest.  And this time we are meeting here in New York at a very critical juncture, when the eyes of the world are set on the major challenges involving all of us in Northeast Asia and (inaudible) the world, especially the publicized address from North Korea on possible strategic provocations in the coming weeks, actually drawing our attention. 

So our discussions today will be very timely and very relevant.  So it’s very important for us to send a very clear and (inaudible) message to North Korea so that there will not be any misjudgment and misbehavior.  And also, as we witnessed the last several days, our consultations go beyond the peninsula issues or Northeast Asian issues.  Now it’s time for us to spend more of our energy and time on the ecological agendas, which are in our common interest as well.

So in that regard, I appreciate, John, your leadership, and President Obama’s leadership over the last several days, including PKO summit and climate change initiatives. 

So Korea is ready to walk closely with you, Japan and the United States, and we try to upgrade our conversation in terms of quality and quantities.  So thank you very much again.

SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, thank you very much.  Appreciate (inaudible) Byung-se.  If we could please ask our friends in the media to now shut down, and if they would leave us to our meeting, we would appreciate that very, very much.