Japan-ROK Foreign Minister Telephone Talks

May 22, 2004

On May 22, 2004, Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi held telephone talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-Moon of the Republic of Korea. The following is a summary of what discussed.

In her opening remarks, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi expressed her wish to meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-Moon of the Republic of Korea, to which Foreign Minister Ban responded that he was looking forward to engaging with Foreign Minister Kawaguchi in an exchange of opinions on the issue of North Korea.

  1. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi provided the following summary concerning Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to North Korea.

    (1) Prime Minister Koizumi visited North Korea based on a broad perspective of peace and stability as well as achieving a breakthrough in Japan-North Korea relations. During the visit, it was confirmed that the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration formed the foundation of Japan-North Korea relations.

    (2) On the abduction issue, five of the eight family members of the abductees returned to Japan with Prime Minister Koizumi. Mr. Jenkins and his two daughters remained in North Korea.

    (3) With regard to the abductees whose whereabouts are unknown, it was decided to promptly undertake a full-scale reinvestigation.

    (4) Much time was devoted to discussions on the nuclear and missile issues in addition to the abduction issue.

    (a) Chairman Kim had stated that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was the goal and that he would make efforts toward a peaceful resolution through the Six-Party Talks. Chairman Kim further stated that a freezing would be the first step to dismantlement, and would be accompanied by verification, and that it was not that deterrence would never be relinquished. Prime Minister Koizumi stated that there was more to be gained from dismantling nuclear weapons than by keeping them, and that the opportunity of the Six-Party Talks should be utilized so as not to miss the chance. However Chairman Kim indicated his concerns over security issues.

    (b) With regard to the missile issue, a moratorium on the firing of missiles was reconfirmed.

    (5) From a humanitarian perspective, Japan decided to provide humanitarian assistance of 250,000 tons of food and US$10 million equivalent in medical equipment to North Korea, through international organizations.

    (6) Prime Minister Koizumi stated that so long as North Korea adhered to the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, Japan, in view of the spirit of the Declaration, would not impose sanctions on North Korea.

    (7) Our hope is that the Prime Minister's visit to North Korea would provide a good impetus towards the realization of the normalization of relations between Japan and North Korea.

  2. In response, Foreign Minister Ban offered his positive evaluation that Prime Minister Koizumi had achieved significant results concerning the abduction and nuclear issues. He also stated that that maintaining the momentum achieved should not be limited to Japan and North Korea, but that it was a matter of importance for Inter-Korea relations and the nuclear issue to be resolved, and that the ROK would seek to continue its close cooperation with Japan.

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