Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.
965 Clover Court, Blue Bell, PA 19422
Vice marshal Jo Myong Rok, first vice-chairman of the National Defense Commission of the DPRK, who is a special envoy of Kim Jong Il, Chairman of the DPRK NDC, visited the USA from October 9 to 12, 2000.
During the visit special envoy Jo Myong Rok conveyed a personal letter of Kim Jong Il, Chairman of the DPRK NDC, and his view on the relations between the DPRK and the U.S. to President William Clinton of the USA. The special envoy and his party met with high-ranking officials of the U.S. administration including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Secretary of Defense William Cohen and exchanged broad views on the issues of mutual concern. Both sides had an in-depth examination of new opportunities created to comprehensively improve the relations between the two countries. Talks took place in a sincere, constructive and working-level atmosphere and this process helped have better understanding of issues of mutual concern.
Considering that environment on the Korean peninsula has changed thanks to the historic north-south summit talks, the DPRK and the USA decided to take steps to radically improve the bilateral relations in favor of consolidating the peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. In this connection both sides shared the view that there are different ways of easing the tension on the Korean peninsula and converting the 1953 Armistice Agreement into a durable peace mechanism to put an official end to the Korean War, including four-way talks.
Considering that improving the bilateral relations is a natural aim of the relations between states and the improvement of relations conforms with the interests of the two peoples in the 21st century and, at the same time, will ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific region, both sides declared that they are ready to take a new orientation in the bilateral relations. As the first important step both sides declared that any of the two governments entertains no hostile intention toward the other and affirmed the commitment to make all efforts to establish new relations free from past antagonism in the future.
Both sides agreed to strive to preserve the atmosphere helpful to removing distrust, achieving mutual confidence and handling in a constructive manner issues of primary concern on the principles stipulated in the June 11, 1993 DPRK-U.S. joint statement and reconfirmed in the October 21, 1994 agreed framework.
In this regard, both sides reaffirmed that the relations between the two countries should be based on the principle of mutual respect for sovereignty and non-interference in each other's internal affairs and took note of the fact that it is beneficial to sustain diplomatic contacts on a regular basis through bilateral and multilateral channels.
Both sides agreed to cooperate with each other to develop mutually beneficial economic cooperation and exchange. They discussed an issue of realizing mutual visit of economic and trade experts in the near future to seek trade and commercial possibilities of contributing to the creation of an environment beneficial to the two peoples and favorable for expanding economic cooperation in northeast Asia as a whole.
They shared the view that the settlement of the missile issue would make an important contribution to the radical improvement of the DPRK-U.S. relations and peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. The DPRK side informed the U.S. that it will not launch any long-range missile while the talks are going on to discuss the missile issue as an effort to build new relations.
The DPRK and the USA gave assurances that they will redouble their commitments and efforts to fully honor their commitments stipulated in the agreed framework. And they fully confirmed that to do so is important for achieving denuclearization, peace and security on the Korean peninsula. For this both sides agreed to make clearer the implementation of the commitments made in the agreed framework. In this regard both sides took note of the fact that an access to the underground facility in Kumchang-ri was useful for clearing the U.S. of its worry.
Both sides paid attention to the fact that recent years witnessed the start of cooperation in the humanitarian field of common concern. The DPRK side expressed thanks to the USA for its significant contribution to meeting the DPRK's humanitarian needs in food and medicine aid. The USA side expressed thanks to the DPRK for cooperating in the excavation of remains of the U.S. soldiers who were reported missing during the Korean War. Both sides agreed to make efforts to push the work of surveying and confirming the whereabouts of those missing soldiers as fast as possible.
Both sides also agreed to continue contacts to discuss the above said issue and other humanitarian issues.
Both sides agreed to support and encourage international efforts to combat terrorism as pointed out in the October 6, 2000 joint statement.
Special envoy Jo Myong Rok briefed the U.S. side on the results of the historic inter- Korean summit and north-south dialogue in the last few months.
The U.S. side expressed its firm commitment to render every appropriate cooperation in the efforts to materialize initiatives to ensure the sustained progress and success of the on-going north-south dialogue and strengthen reconciliation and cooperation between the north and the south including promotion of security talks.
Jo Myong Rok expressed thanks to President Clinton and the American people for according cordial hospitality to him during his visit.
It was agreed that Secretary of State Medeleine Albright will visit the DPRK in the near future in order to directly convey President William Clinton's view to Kim Jong Il, Chairman of the NDC of the DPRK, and make arrangements for the President's visit.