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TITLE Spokesperson's Press Briefing (May 12, 2015)
Date 2015.05.12

Press Briefing
Spokesperson and Deputy Minister for Public Relations Noh Kwang-il
May 12, 2015 14:30 KST

Good afternoon. Let me start today’s briefing.

Today, I have quite several announcements to make.

For starters, with regard to the recent helicopter crash in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, the government of the Republic of Korea extends its deepest condolence to the victims, including the Ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines and the wives of the Ambassadors of Malaysia and Indonesia to Pakistan, as well as their families. The ROK government also wishes a quick recovery of those injured in the accident.

Moving on, from this week and on, high-level officials of the ROK’s main partner countries are scheduled to visit the country. Also, major international events are set to take place in the ROK. These visits and events will set the stage for significant discussions on not only bilateral agenda but also those concerning Northeast Asia and the global community. They are also expected to demonstrate the ROK’s capacity for global diplomatic networking and bringing together important figures of the global community.

Let me start with the planned visits to the ROK by high-level officials of its major partner countries.

First, US Secretary of State John Kerry will make a visit on May 17 and 18. On May 18, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se will hold a meeting with the Secretary.

In the meeting, the two top diplomats will exchange in-depth views on such bilateral matters as preparations for President Park Geun-hye’s visit to the US later this year and on other matters of mutual concern, including North Korea and its nuclear issue, the situation in Northeast Asia and ways to work together on global issues.

In their tenth meeting, the Minister and the Secretary will reaffirm the steadfast ROK-US alliance and consolidate their strong joint commitment to respond to provocations from North Korea. They are also expected to take the opportunity to further step up bilateral communication between the two global partners on pending regional and global issues.

Earlier in the day, Secretary Kerry will also make a courtesy call on President Park Geun-hye.

Second, as announced by the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae on May 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India will make a state visit to the ROK on May 18 and 19.

During his visit, the leaders of the ROK and India will discuss ways to increase substantive cooperation between their two countries across the board, including foreign affairs, security, national defense, economy, trade, science, technology, social affairs and culture. They will also exchange views on the situations on the Korean Peninsula and in different regions of the world as well as ways to work together on the international stage.

Lastly, an event very meaningful in terms of the ROK’s global network diplomacy or middle power diplomacy, which the country is attaching great significance to, is set to take place in the ROK next week.

A foreign ministerial meeting of MIKTA -- a consultative mechanism among middle power countries launched at the initiative of the ROK on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in the fall of 2013 -- will take place in Seoul on May 22.

For your information, MIKTA, a consultative mechanism among the middle power countries of Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia, is an inter-regional network whose member countries share such universal values as market economy and human rights, and have willingness and capacity to contribute to international efforts to promote the public good.

The forthcoming foreign ministerial meeting to come in the ROK, the second MIKTA chair after Mexico, is expected to serve as an opportunity for the ROK to increase its multilateral diplomatic capacity and broaden its diplomatic horizon.

The fact that the foreign ministers of the five countries will get together despite their busy schedules demonstrates by itself the ROK’s capacity for global diplomatic networking and bringing together important figures of the global community.

The meeting is expected to become a starting point for the two-year-old MIKTA to produce tangible results and take a leap forward as global governance.

On the sidelines of the MIKTA Foreign Ministers’ meeting, a series of bilateral meetings among the Ministers of the five countries will also take place.

At the MIKTA Foreign Ministers’ meeting, a vision document on MIKTA’s identity and future direction will be adopted and a website of MIKTA will be officially opened.

The Ministers will also discuss cooperation projects being conducted, including journalists, students and diplomats exchange programs and the launch of an academic network (May 11), as well as the way forward for MIKTA.

The ROK government, as the chair of MIKTA, will lead discussions on global issues, including development cooperation, climate change and cyber security.

This is all for my opening statement.


Q: Regarding North Korea’s successful test-fire of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), what diplomatic responses will the ROK government make?

A: Concerning North Korea’s announcement on May 9 that it successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a strategic submarine underwater, the ROK government is sharing information and assessments with the US and other major countries concerned, while keeping a close eye on related developments. The ROK government, in close consultation with the US and other allies, will also review a range of possible international responses.

As UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea prohibit North Korea from conducting any launch using ballistic missile technology and demand the North stop all activities related to its ballistic missile program, North Korea should faithfully comply with its obligations under the Security Council resolutions.

Let me add more. It is expected that during Secretary Kerry’s visit to the ROK, there will be in-depth discussions on dangers posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and related provocations, including the latest test-fire of an SLBM.

Q: Is there any move to respond to North Korea’s test-fire of an SLBM at the Security Council?

A: As I said, the ROK government is reviewing a range of possible international responses, while consulting with the US and other allies. You could assume that they include a response related to the UN, if not the Security Council.

Q: Do you think that the ROK-Japan relations could be discussed during Secretary Kerry’s visit to the ROK?

A: It is difficult for me to predict that, but once the meeting takes place, I think there will be enough opportunities to give you further details of the meeting. I understand that Minister Yun and Secretary Kerry could discuss various issues concerning peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

I will conclude today’s briefing. Thank you.

*unofficial translation