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Remarks After Breakfast With Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Yu Myung-hwan

John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State
Grand Hyatt
Seoul, South Korea
May 8, 2008

8:40 a.m.

QUESTION: Sir, how was your discussion this morning with the Minister?

DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE:Very good, a chance to discuss a range of issues of bilateral interest; of course, the United States and South Korea are strategic allies, we have a very close relationship, and obviously this was an opportunity for me to come and pay my respects after the formation of a new government here.

QUESTION: Could you share some of the things that were discussed on the North Korea nuclear issue since you have a team of officials visiting today?

DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE:Well just to say that, that process is on-going and the United States and South Korea, I think, share an interest in common in encouraging the process of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and as a result we both have a great interest in the progress of these Six Party Talks. As you say, there is work going on as we speak.

QUESTION:Have you heard from North Korea about your evidence, the evidence you’ve laid out on the Syria connection?

DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE:Well this is an issue of concern to us and it is an issue that has been discussed in our diplomatic exchanges with North Korea. It’s another reason why we attach so much importance to a thorough and accurate declaration on the part of North Korea with respect to their nuclear facilities and programs.

QUESTION: So there have been discussions with North Korea?

(sorry the Secretary has to go)

DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE:Yeah,okay. Thanks a lot. Nice to see you.

Released on May 8, 2008

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