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Taken Question
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 11, 2007
Question Taken at the December 11, 2007 Daily Press Briefing

North Korea - Visit by the New York Philharmonic (Taken Question)

Question: Did the Department of State have any involvement in the discussions the NY Philharmonic had with the North Koreans about traveling to the DPRK? Are we providing any support for the upcoming trip? (Specifically asked about translators)

Answer: The New York Philharmonic’s visit to North Korea is being privately sponsored and privately funded. We would refer you to the Orchestra for details.

The Department of State supports the decision of the New York Philharmonic to perform in North Korea. In the October 3, 2007 Six-Party Joint Statement, the U.S. and DPRK agreed to increase bilateral exchanges. We believe cultural exchanges such as the upcoming visit by the New York Philharmonic to Pyongyang provide an opportunity to enhance mutual understanding.

When the Philharmonic received an invitation through a private party to visit the DPRK, the State Department confirmed with the DPRK that the invitation was authoritative. In addition, when the Orchestra sent a delegation to Pyongyang in early October to explore the invitation it had received from the DPRK, a member of the Department’s Office of Korean Affairs accompanied the delegation in order to help facilitate discussions with the DPRK Government.

We have not received a request from the New York Philharmonic for additional logistical support.

2007/1121


Released on December 11, 2007

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