Summary of the Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting
July 26, 2000
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono and Republic of Korea Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lee Joung Binn held talks in Bangkok for approximately 40 minutes from 10:05 on July 26, 2000.
1. Summary of Meeting
- Prior to the first-ever meeting between the foreign ministers of Japan and North Korea and a meeting between the foreign ministers of North and South Korea, Foreign Minister Kono and Foreign Minister Lee exchanged opinions on policies toward North Korea, including in connection with the G8 summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
- Also, the two foreign ministers discussed visits to Japan by ROK President Kim Dae Jung and Foreign Minister Lee.
2. Specific Topics
A. G8 Summit
Foreign Minister Kono gave a brief summary of the G8 summit, centered on items related to the Korean Peninsula, and, among other things, also referred to the visit to North Korea of Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressed support for the Republic of Korea's engagement policy, reaffirmed the importance of cooperation among Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea in their policies toward North Korea, and expressed the G8's support for North Korea's participation in the international community.
In response, Foreign Minister Lee expressed his congratulations on the success of the G8 summit and also expressed respect for the efforts of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Foreign Minister Kono in bringing about the issue of a special statement on the Korean Peninsula.
B. Japan-North Korea Foreign Ministers' Meeting and North-South Korea Foreign Ministers' Meeting
Foreign Minister Lee gave a brief explanation of the Republic of Korea's thinking on the North-South Korea foreign ministers' meeting scheduled for the evening of the same day, July 26. Foreign Minister Lee said that items he wanted to take up in that meeting included reaffirmation of the importance of the inter-Korea summit; the steady implementation of the follow-up to the summit, such as meetings between Red Cross officials of North and South Korea and between ministers of the two sides; support for North Korea's emergence in the international community; and the importance of improving North Korea's relations with Japan and the United States.
In response, regarding the Japan-North Korea foreign ministers' meeting scheduled for that evening, Foreign Minister Kono said that since the meeting would only last for 20 minutes, the atmosphere of the meeting would be important. Foreign Minister Kono said that it was important to fix an early schedule for the next round of negotiations on the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and North Korea and to pave the way for the smooth progress of the negotiations.
C. ASEAN Regional Forum
The two foreign ministers welcomed North Korea's participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum and agreed that, while the ARF had played a role in the peace and stability of Asia so far, on the basis of its experience until now, it was important for the ARF to play an even bigger role from now on.
D. Visits to Japan by ROK President Kim and Foreign Minister Lee
The two foreign ministers agreed to coordinate schedules so that President Kim could visit Japan in the latter half of September.
Also, regarding Foreign Minister Lee's visit to Japan, Foreign Minister Kono stated that Foreign Minister Lee was welcome to visit Japan at a convenient time for the minister.
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