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[Incumbent] Foreign Minister's Interview with CNN (1.24.)

  • Date : 2019-01-25 10:22:37
  • Hit : 4381

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha talked about the second US-North Korea summit, the next steps toward complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, and more in an interview with CNN at the Davos Forum 2019 (World Economic Forum Annual Meeting).


View the clip > http://bit.ly/2Wh5IQn



[CNN Interview with Minister Kang]

 

 

[CNN]

...taken any steps towards ramping down its nuclear programs. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha is calling for concrete results for the next month’s meeting. She’s here with me in Davos. When you talk about ‘concrete results’, you mean what exactly Foreign Minister?


[Minister]

Well I think the two leaders in their first summit came out with a broad agreement, first, that the North Koreans would completely denuclearize, that the two would start building better relations, and the two would work towards lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, and the Americans would be ready to provide security guarantees. So they have the broad pillars of what the next steps should be. What the outcome of the second summit should be. Of course the denuclearization is not just the US-South Korea’s, it’s a global issue. It’s a security issue that’s been on the Security Council agenda for many years. So we expect concrete action, movement on the denuclearization track in the first instance.

 

[CNN]

What sort of evidence is there that North Korea has in any way scaled back its nuclear work?

 

[Minister]

We keep a close eye and there are reports that the program continues. But it has said that it has closed down its test site, it has said that it’s dismantling its long-range missile testing and launch site. We have yet to go and see and verify that. The North Korean leader has also indicated his willingness to dismantle the whole Yongbyon industrial complex, which is the core of their nuclear program. But that he would, the North Koreans would do that under certain conditions, meaning, getting something that the North Korea needs, in terms, whether it’s security guarantees or some lifting of the sanctions.

 

[CNN]

Ten rounds of talks and counting between the US and the South Korea and, still no accord to replace the 2014 deal for troop costs that expired last year. Where are you at with those talks?

 

[Minister]

Yes, we are not there yet. But we are -

 
[CNN]

Getting closer?

 

[Minister]

You know, I think we’re very- we’re both very keen to get to an agreement as quickly as possible. We are beyond the deadline. We need an agreement that we can pass through Congress. We need National Assembly approval to have this ratified. So we are very mindful of the domestic expectation, but also the figures that the US has presented. So this is still at back and forth. We’re not there yet very much hoping to close the gap.

 

[CNN]

Is this a US president that you trust to do the right thing by South Korea?


[Minister]

Well, he has committed a tremendous amount of political capital on engaging North Korea to denuclearize and I think, we go by his determination to produce concrete results and we’ve hoped that the weeks leading from here to the second meeting will involve active negotiations between the two sides to get to the nuclear issue.


[CNN]

Donald Trump was promoting the second summit on Twitter tweeting just a couple of hours ago. The “Fake News Media loves saying ‘so little happened at my first summit with Kim Jong Un.’ Wrong, exclamation mark. After 40 years of doing nothing with North Korea but being taken to the cleaners, and with a major war ready to start, in a short 15 months, relationships built, hostages and remains back home where they belong, no more Rockets or M’s being fired over Japan or anywhere else and, most importantly, no Nuclear Testing. This is more than has ever been accomplished with North Korea, and the Fake News knows it. I expect another good meeting soon, much potential, exclamation mark.” How useful is a tweet like that?

 

[Minister]

Well, he says in that of North Korea, what we’ve achieved on North Korea, no testing. And that is huge. The North Koreans have also indicated, you know, the concrete steps, we need to make sure that those steps are taken. And that means sitting at the negotiation table and making sure that the steps are taken. But I think, you know, this is a program that’s very well advanced. And it’s going to take time. We have to take a deep breath and be optimistic but also realistic.

 
[CNN]

And you are working very hard, I know, reviewing various packages of incentives that Washington that could actually bring to the table in the meeting. Can you share the sort of options that you are suggesting or debating at this point?

 

[Minister]

Well, you know, I don’t want to preempt that discussion but we are in close consultation with the US team, and my team, and you know just brainstorming, drawing out the roadmap going from here but there are things, the North Koreans have asked for security guarantees and that could mean a number of things. We think that a declaration of end to war is a good incentive in this regard. It doesn’t change the armistice regime. It’s a statement of good will going forward on denuclearization and building lasting peace on Korean Peninsula. That’s one of many elements but I think we’ll see what the outcome is when the negotiations take place in earnest.

 

[CNN]

Foreign minister, complete denuclearization. That is still the goal, correct?

 

[Minister]

Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s not just South Korea, US goal. It’s the goal of international community.

 

[CNN]

Without (ado), we will leave it there. Thank you.


[Minister]

Thank you.