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Remarks After Meeting with Foreign Minister Koumura

John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tokyo, Japan
May 9, 2008

DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE: I had a good opportunity to talk to the minister about the importance of our alliance and a range of issues, regional issues, of concern: the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, the situation in Burma, the very desperate humanitarian situation where both the United States and Japan want to provide humanitarian assistance, but so far at least it’s been difficult to get the kind of access necessary to be able to provide that assistance. So we’re both concerned about that, and we call upon the authorities in Burma to open their doors to the generous assistance of the international community, and to alleviate the suffering – the disastrous suffering – of their own people. And we discussed a number of other issues as well.

So I would say we had a very good meeting. It was my first opportunity to meet the Foreign Minister since the formation of a new government. I also had the very useful opportunity to meet the ambassador-designate to Washington, Ambassador Fujisaki, who’s here at the moment and who will be coming to Washington shortly. And I look forward to working with him closely, just as I’ve had the opportunity to do with Ambassador Kato during the time that he has been serving in Washington. I look forward to welcoming Ambassador Fujisaki personally to Washington.

QUESTION: Can we ask about North Korea’s –

DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE:  One question; sure, yes.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, sir. May I ask you about the report given from – handed from – to your envoy there in Pyongyang? Could you specify a little bit more about what you hear from your….

DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE:  I don’t have a full report at the moment, since he just left Pyongyang, and I know that he is bringing back some records that have to do with the nuclear-production programs of North Korea. But this is part of the ongoing process connected with the Six-Party Talks and leading, hopefully, to the full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. So I would say this was a step in a process, but it’s an ongoing process, and we still await more complete results and a more complete report as to exactly what happened.

Thank you.



Released on May 9, 2008

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