“The United States-Republic of Korea partnership is stronger than ever,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell said recently in Seoul. “We continue to take steps to deepen our security alliance. . . In particular, the intensity, rigor, pace, and quality of our cooperation, coordination and engagement. . .on North Korea are unprecedented.”
Assistant Secretary Campbell announced that the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea had recently held a trilateral dialogue on a wide range of regional and global issues, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
“[The trilateral dialogue] reflects the close cooperation between the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, as well as our common values and interests across the Asia-Pacific and the globe,” Assistant Secretary Campbell said. “We reaffirmed again our commitment to the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, including its core goal of the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, and we agreed that a path is open to North Korea towards the resumption of talks and improved relations with the United States, and the Republic of Korea through dialogue.”
However, the United States has made it clear that we do not intend to reward the North just for returning to the table. We have no desire for pursuing protracted negotiations that will only lead us right back to where we have already been. North Korea must comply with its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and the terms of the Armistice Agreement, including by taking concrete steps toward denuclearization.
The United States looks forward to holding another session of trilateral dialogue in the coming months with Japan and South Korea in order to intensify and deepen our three-way coordination.