Telephone Conversation between the Foreign Ministers of Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK)

July 5, 2006

For about 30 minutes from 14:30 on July 5, Mr. Taro Aso, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, had a conversation over the telephone with Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea (ROK) concerning North Korea's launch of missiles and ROK's marine survey. The gist of the talks is as follows.

  1. Mr. Aso appreciated the ROK Government's serious objection to North Korea on the launch of missiles, explained Japan's specific sanction measures that it announced today, and requested the ROK side to act in concert with Japan in taking strict measures against North Korea. Mr. Aso also requested ROK's support and cooperation toward issuing a prompt announcement of its determined message as a U.N. Security Council Member.
  2. In response to this statement, Mr. Ban stated that the fact that North Korea went ahead with the launch of missiles despite repeated warnings would damage the peace and security of Northeast Asia including the Korean Peninsula and was a matter of serious concern for the ROK Government and would inevitably affect North-South relations. On the basis of that comment, Mr. Ban said that the ROK side intends to closely consult with the Japanese side on the measures that the ROK Government and the international community should take.
  3. Regarding the marine survey, Mr. Aso told Mr. Ban that it was extremely regrettable that the ROK Government conducted it despite Mr. Aso's repeated requests on the Japanese side to either halt or postpone it, lodged a protest and urged the ROK side to desist it. Based on that and from a broad perspective of the Japan-ROK relations, Mr. Aso stated that, in order to prevent the issue from worsening, the Japanese Government would exert efforts for an early conclusion of the Negotiations on the Demarcation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as discussing bilateral cooperation in carrying out marine surveys.

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