Comment by Foreign Minister Yohei Kono on the North-South Joint Declaration

June 15, 2000

  1. I understand that on June 14 R.O.K. President Kim Dae Jung and General Secretary of the Workers Party and National Defense Commission Chairman of North Korea Kim Jong Il held talks and exchanged views for many hours on wide-ranging issues, culminating in the signing of a North-South Joint Declaration on the night of the same day.

  2. I think it a matter of historic significance that the leaders of South and North Korea directly exchanged views after the Korean Peninsula was divided into two parts approximately half a century ago, and that in addition they signed in person a joint document for the first time in history. Each item listed in the North-South Joint Declaration is significant for both South and North Korea, while I am expecting to receive information regarding the Declaration in more detail from the R.O.K. side in due course. The Government of Japan welcomes this achievement, which proves that the leaders of both South and North Korea have deepened mutual confidence and understanding. I strongly hope that based upon the result of the talks, dialogue between South and North Korea continues and develops, and that the tension in the Korean Peninsula will ease. I hope that this trend also gives a positive influence on the normalization talks between Japan and North Korea.


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