Telephone Conversation between Foreign Ministers of Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK)
On Tuesday, December 20 (EST), Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba, who was visiting Washington DC, the United States, held a telephone conversation with Mr. Kim Sung-hwan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The overview of the conversation is as follows.
- Minister Gemba proposed to maintain close coordination between Japan and the ROK as well as among Japan, the U.S. and the ROK in order to ensure that the death of Kim Jong-il, Chairman of the National Defense Commission of North Korea would not have a negative impact on the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Minister Gemba said that he had shared the same recognition with Ms. Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State during the Japan-US Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held on December 19. Minister Gemba also stated that Japan will act calmly in cooperation with countries concerned, including China and Russia.
- In response, Minister Kim Sung-hwan stated that under the current situation now was crucial for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, it was necessary to act with care and calm by closely coordination between the ROK and Japan, as well as among the ROK, Japan and the U.S., and expressed his hope to continue close cooperation.
- Furthermore, Minister Gemba renewed his request for the ROK’s cooperation on the abduction issue under the current situation, and the ROK side expressed their understanding. Finally, the two ministers agreed that Japan, the ROK, and the U.S. showed continue to maintain close coordination and contact with each other, while closely monitoring the developments of the situation and sharing information.
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