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U.S., Japan, S. Korea On N. Korea

State Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, flanked by South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, right, and Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, delivers her statement before the start of a trilateral meeting at the State Department in Washington, Mond

"North Korea’s provocative and belligerent behavior jeopardizes peace and stability in Asia."

In remarks after the first U.S.-Japan-Republic of Korea trilateral meeting held in Washington, DC on December 6, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan jointly affirmed that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or North Korea’s provocative and belligerent behavior threatens all three countries and that such behavior will be met with solidarity from all three countries.

"North Korea’s provocative and belligerent behavior jeopardizes peace and stability in Asia. We are deeply concerned by its unprovoked attack on the island of Yeonpyeong, resulting in the loss of South Korean lives," said Secretary Clinton.

The attack is the latest in a series of North Korean provocations, including the March sinking of the naval vessel Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors, and its recent declaration of an uranium enrichment facility, which if true, violates UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, as well as North Korea’s commitments under the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.

In order for the Six-Party Talks to resume, North Korea must improve relations with the Republic of Korea and cease its provocative behavior. It must also comply with its international obligations and take concrete steps to implement its denuclearization commitments, said Secretary of State Clinton:

"North Korea should abide by the terms of the armistice, fulfill its requirements under the joint statement, and comply with all of its obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions. They need to demonstrate a seriousness of purpose in ending their provocations and let the world know that they are now ready to come to the table and fulfill the commitments that they have already made. Because the Six-Party Talks cannot substitute for specific actions by North Korea to comply with all of its obligations."

"From day one of the Obama Administration, we have made clear that North Korea needs to change," said Secretary Clinton. "The international community has repeatedly presented North Korean leadership with a path toward greater engagement and integration, but thus far they have chosen the path of confrontation and isolation. The path to a better relationship and a secure and prosperous future is still open to North Korea if it makes the right choices. We remain committed to seeking opportunities for dialogue," she said. "But we will not reward North Korea for shattering the peace or defying the international community."