Remarks at Narita Airport
Special Representative for North Korea Policy
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: It's wonderful to be back in Tokyo. I'm here for meetings with Japanese counterparts and then also a trilateral meeting tomorrow morning with Korean counterparts and Japanese counterparts. My host for this visit is Director General Sugiyama, and I want to thank him very much in advance for his hospitality.
I look forward to having good conversations with Japanese Government officials, and this is the first stop on a week-long trip to North Asia. I go on from here to Korea and then from there to China, for talks with those governments. And with that, I'm happy to try to answer your questions.
QUESTION: What are your expectations for the trilateral talks tomorrow?
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: This trilateral meeting, this is not the first time we've done this. We do this every few months, this is very much a follow-up to the trilateral ministerial meeting that occurred in New York between the Foreign Ministers of Japan, Korea, and the United States just a few weeks ago at the United Nations General Assembly.
They discussed North Korea, among other issues, and we will follow up on those conversations. So the purpose of it is really to deepen our understanding of the issues, exchange views, and coordinate. This is particularly important given the fact that we are all coming up on political transitions, so we're very much looking forward to having these conversations.
QUESTION: I understand that you're not directly in charge of the territorial disputes, but with the current situation, do you have any concerns about the territorial disputes, that they might have a negative impact in terms of the unity of the trilateral meeting?
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: Well, I've found that on the North Korea issue, actually our coordination has been quite strong, and quite good, bilaterally obviously but then trilaterally with Korea as well. So I don't expect there to be any impact on our discussions. You know our basic position in the United States, which is that we hope very much and look to Japan, and China, and Korea to work these issues out between them. Thank you.
QUESTION: Just one more question. What is your current assessment of the North Korean situation in terms of nuclear development, missile development?
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: Well, we're in a somewhat troubling moment, because the North Koreans have been saying things that make it appear as if they are considering moving away from their long-standing obligation to denuclearize, which is spelled out best in the September 2005 Joint Statement.
This would be, we think, a big mistake for North Korea to make. Denuclearization is essential, from the standpoint of maintaining the Six Party Talks, it is the core reason why have Six Party Talks, is to work to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
And I think the other important thing is that North Korea will never have strong and full diplomatic, political, and economic relations with the outside world as long as it remains a nuclear outlaw. So it's very important that they take seriously their commitment to denuclearize and they follow up on it. That's one of the things we'll be talking about here today. Anyways, the flight was a little bit late, I've got to get to the hotel and then go to my meetings. So thank you very much.