- Press Briefings
Spokesperson's Press Briefing (Sept. 27, 2012)
Today I will make one announcement and then take your questions.
The announcement is about the Korean day.
On Friday, September 5, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will hold a ceremony to celebrate the 6th Korean Day.
The Korean day was designated as an official day of commemoration in 2007 in line with the long-cherished wish of the overseas Koreans.
Some 800 overseas Koreans and dignitaries from home will attend the ceremony, during which commendations or other forms of awards will be presented to overseas Koreans who have made distinguished contributions.
Additionally, as part of the celebratory event, there will be a KBS Open Concert and a conference of Korea’s future leaders.
We hope the Korean Day will serve as an opportunity to help enhance communication between Koreans at home and abroad and raise the pride of the Korean people.
This is all for my opening statement.
Q: My question is about the ROK-Japan Foreign Ministers’ meeting. Please tell us which side proposed holding the meeting and how the meeting agendas were agreed upon.
There was a Japanese press report that there would be a positive discussion on ways to solve the issue of military sexual slavery victims. I would like to ask if there had been any consultation with Japan in this regard prior to this meeting.
A: On your first question, the meeting is to be held at the request of Japan.
Secondly, we do not predetermine every single agenda to be discussed at this brief meeting that takes place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
Thirdly, with regard to the issue of military sexual slavery victims, it is hard to say that such progress as that you mentioned will be made at this meeting. As far as I know, there is not much meaningful consultation going on between the two governments on the issue.
Q: To my knowledge, the ROK government has been approaching the issue of military sexual slavery victims drafted for the Japanese imperial Army from the perspective of universal human rights. And, I understand that is the official stance of the government. Does Foreign Minister Kim have any plan to more actively advocate such stance to the international community in his keynote speech at the UN General Assembly?
A: Minister Kim will mention in one way or another the importance of having a correct understanding of history and women’s rights during wartime in his keynote speech at the UN General Assembly. As for the details of the content, we ask for your patience.
Q: I would like to know what the ROK Foreign Ministry makes of the content of the speech delivered by Japanese Prime Minister Noda at the UN last night.
A: With regard to the speech, my government does not deny the fact that the rule of law is a highly important value.
However, as made clear in the speech by ROK Foreign Minister Kim the other day, the rule of law and international judicial procedures should not be used for political purposes.
Let me underscore once again that not only the rule of law but also a correct understanding of history is highly important.
Q: I would like to ask you whether there is any plan for the ROK delegates to meet with their counterparts from North Korea on the sidelines of the Northeast Cooperation Dialogue under way in Dalian, China. Is the content of the Dialogue usually made public after its conclusion?
A: In terms of your first question, there is no plan for an inter-Korean meeting.
In answer to your second question, as far as I know, the host does not announce the outcome of the meeting.
Q: In his keynote speech at the UN General Assembly, Minister Kim will raise women’s rights during wartime, by which you mean that he will be discussing the issue of military sexual slavery victims, right? As far as I know, it will mark the first time for this issue to be discussed in the UN General Assembly session. Am I right?
A: As I have just told you, he will discuss women’s rights during wartime and the importance of having a correct view of history. As for the specific content of the speech, please wait until it is delivered.
It is somewhat tricky to consider a keynote speech at the UN General Assembly as an opportunity to raise bilateral issues. In this vein, please wait to see what and how Minister Kim will address in his speech.
Q: Will the full text of the Minister’s speech be posted on the Foreign Ministry website after it is delivered?
A: Could you say that again?
Q: Will the full text of the Minister’s keynote speech at the UN General Assembly be posted on the Foreign Ministry website after its delivery?
A: I will check on that.
Q: You keep using the expression, “women’s rights during wartime.” Can it be construed as meaning that the expression “military sexual slavery victims” will not be directly used in the Minister’s keynote speech?
A: As I said, please wait to see specifically what will be discussed in his speech.
Q: You keep using the expression, “women’s rights during wartime.” If you are actually referring to military sexual slavery victims by that, wouldn’t be clearer to use that expression?
A: There is still some time before the speech. I deem it better for you to see specifically how the speech will unfold rather than for me to tell you about it right now.