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Remarks With Qatar Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir Al Thani Before Their Meeting

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 24, 2008

QUESTION: Secretary Rice, do you have any comment on North Korea’s decision? They made a major move today at the IAEA and put out a statement on –

Secretary Rice holds bilateral with His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabir Al Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar at the Waldorf. State Department photo by Michael Gross SECRETARY RICE: Well, we believe that if the North Koreans do so, it would only deepen its isolation. We are working with our partners here in the Six-Party Talks. I met with the Chinese Foreign Minister, with the South Korean Foreign Minister. I’ll see the Russian Foreign Minister in a little while, and perhaps the Japanese Foreign Minister if he arrives, given that there’s just been a change in the government there.

Everyone knows what the path ahead is. The path ahead is for there to be agreement on a verification protocol so that we can continue along the path of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. And the North Koreans know that, and so we’ll continue working with our partners on what steps we might need to take.

QUESTION: But you don’t --

QUESTION: In North Korea – what’s going on in North Korea exactly?

SECRETARY RICE: That’s all I’m going to say at this point. We are working with our partners and everyone is sending the same message.

QUESTION: But you don’t see the process as dead, the Six-Party process?

SECRETARY RICE: Oh, by no means. We’ve been through ups and downs in this process before, but I think the important thing is that the – this is a Six-Party process, and that means that there are other states that are carrying the same message to North Korea about their obligations. Thank you.

Released on September 24, 2008

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