Statement by Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, on the rescindment by the U.S. government of the designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism

October 12, 2008

  1. On October 11 (U.S. time), the United States announced that it had rescinded the designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism because North Korea had agreed to a series of verification measures.
  2. Ever since North Korea submitted a declaration of its nuclear programs on June 26 this year, close consultations have been held among the Six Parties including between Japan and the United States in order to establish a rigorous verification protocol.  Based on these consultations, the United States held a series of negotiations with North Korea including the recent visit of Ambassador Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of State, to North Korea, and came to an agreement with North Korea on a series of verification measures such as access to facilities including undeclared sites as well as conducting sampling.
  3. Japan regards it indispensable to establish an effective verification protocol for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which is the goal of the Six-Party Talks. In order for the Six Parties to adopt soon a verification protocol based on this U.S.-North Korea agreement, we will continue to work closely with the countries concerned including the United States.
  4. Prior to today’s announcement, President Bush telephoned Prime Minister Aso to explain the results of the U.S.- North Korea negotiations. On that occasion, President Bush said that he had strong feelings on the abduction issue and understood that the Japanese people have strong concerns and anxieties, and conveyed his deep sympathy for the families of the victims and sincere feelings for the resolution of this issue.  Japan will make its best efforts to advance Japan-North Korea relations including the abduction issue along with the progress of the nuclear issue in close cooperation with the United States and other countries concerned.