94/11/09 Remarks to the Korea American Friendship Society (Seoul, Republic of Korea)  Return to: Index of 1994 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

Note: This Electronic Research Collection is an archive site. For the most current information, please visit the State Department homepage.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN
SEOUL, REPUBLIC OF KOREA
REMARKS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
NOVEMBER 9, 1994



                              REMARKS
                                BY

                 U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                                TO THE
                   KOREA AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY 
                       GRAND HYATT HOTEL
                        SEOUL, REPUBLIC OF KOREA
                          November 9, 1994


     Good afternoon.  Thank you for your kind introduction.  It gives me 
great pleasure to be the first Secretary of State to address the Korea-
America Friendship Society.  You have deepened our appreciation of the 
heritage of Korean-Americans, who have made such remarkable 
contributions to our nation.  Let me also commend your efforts to 
improve tolerance and understanding between people of different 
backgrounds.

     Earlier today, I met with President Kim, Foreign Minister Han and 
their colleagues.  In these meetings, I commended the President on his 
announcement that the Republic of Korea is willing to take step-by-step 
measures to encourage economic cooperation with the North.  We hope that 
North Korea will respond positively.

     I am here this afternoon to reaffirm the enduring commitment of the 
United States to the security of the Republic of Korea and to peace and 
stability on the Korean peninsula.  As President Clinton said when he 
was in Seoul, "geography has placed our nations far apart, but history 
has drawn us close together."  Our friendship was sealed when our troops 
fought and died together to defend this soil against aggression.  It 
broadened as we took full advantage of the peace that followed to build 
commercial ties.  It matured as the "second miracle on the Han"--Korea's 
democratic miracle--strengthened our common bonds.

     Now our friendship and alliance have been proven once again in the 
crucible of a common challenge.  By working together, we produced an 
agreement on the nuclear situation in North Korea that will assure a 
more secure Republic of Korea and a more secure Asia.

     The development of our alliance reflects America's engagement in 
the Asia-Pacific region.  America is and will remain a Pacific power.  
We will stand by our security commitments, maintain our forward military 
presence, and sustain our non-proliferation efforts.  We will promote 
integration and growth through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 
forum, and through relations with the region's key economic powers.  And 
we will continue to support political freedom and human rights-- the 
ultimate guarantors of security and prosperity.

     We are working to achieve a Pacific future where our allies and 
partners are free from the fear of war; where nations are made more 
prosperous by the free exchange of goods and ideas; and where citizens 
can participate in the decisions that affect their lives.  These 
elements of our comprehensive Asia-Pacific strategy-- security, 
prosperity, and democracy-- are mutually reinforcing.

     That strategy has produced significant results in recent months:

     --  A nuclear agreement that can lead to a more secure Korean 
peninsula;

     --  The launching of an historic regional security dialogue in the 
Asia-Pacific;

     --  Agreements with Japan to open key domestic markets to foreign 
competition;

     --  Improved ties with Vietnam resulting from fuller accounting for 
POW/MIA's;

     --  A reinvigorated relationship with China, with movement on both 
arms control and human rights.

     These achievements advance not just America's interests, but those 
of our Asian allies and friends.

     But as President Clinton told your National Assembly last year, "we 
must always remember that security comes first."  Over the past decade 
the United States has been working with you to halt North Korea's 
efforts to develop nuclear weapons.  Almost two years ago, North Korea's 
announcement of its intentions to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty threatened to plunge the region into crisis, if not 
war.

     Now, our determined diplomacy--made possible by America's 
unshakeable partnership with the Republic of Korea--has put the nuclear 
issue on the road to resolution.  The Agreed Framework will achieve the 
central strategic objectives shared by our countries.  It pulls us back 
from the brink of a crisis that could have spiralled into armed 
conflict.  It lifts the specter of a nuclear arms race from Northeast 
Asia.  And it bolsters a nonproliferation regime essential to global 
stability.

     We achieved the Agreed Framework by maintaining clear and 
consistent objectives and priorities, and by making it plain to the 
North Koreans that our negotiating positions reflected the unified views 
of the United States and the Republic of Korea.  Korea was an active 
partner every step of the way.  Without our partnership, the 
negotiations could not have succeeded and there would have been no 
agreement.

     Let me outline what the Framework requires, and why it is good for 
the Republic of Korea, the United States, Asia and the world.

     First, the agreement immediately freezes the North Korean nuclear 
program.  The North has agreed not to restart its 5 megawatt reactor.  
It will seal its reprocessing facility and not operate it again.  It 
will not reprocess the spent fuel from the 5 megawatt reactor and will 
ship that fuel out of the country.  In short, North Korea's current 
capacity to separate or produce plutonium -- the raw material for 
nuclear weapons and the most toxic substance on earth -- will come to an 
end.  And all of these steps will take place with the oversight of 
International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors on the ground, and with 
the careful scrutiny of the international community.

     Second, the North has agreed to freeze construction of its 50 and 
200 megawatt reactors and of its reprocessing plant.  Ultimately, they 
will be dismantled, along with related facilities in North Korea.  
Absent this agreement, the two large reactors, once completed, would 
have been capable of producing enough plutonium for not just one or two 
bombs, but dozens of bombs each year.  Within a decade, the Republic of 
Korea, the United States, this region and the world could have faced the 
greatest threat to international security since the Cuban Missile 
crisis.

     Third, under the agreement, North Korea must fully disclose its 
past nuclear activities.  The IAEA is to have access to the information 
it needs.  North Korea is obligated to cooperate with the measures the 
IAEA deems necessary-- including special inspections-- to resolve 
questions about past activities.  Implementation will take place over a 
period of time.  But the safeguards agreement must be fully implemented 
before any significant nuclear components of the first light-water 
reactor are delivered to North Korea.

     Finally, North Korea will remain a party to the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty, and must also fulfill additional obligations that 
go well beyond it.  These include an end to plutonium separation, the 
shipment of spent fuel containing plutonium out of the country, and the 
dismantlement of the entire gas graphite reactor system.

     The signing of the agreement brings a new challenge for the United 
States and the Republic of Korea.  This is an important moment.  We are 
moving to a second and critical phase in resolving the North Korea 
nuclear issue.  We are moving from negotiation to implementation, from 
words to deeds.  In the coming weeks, we will be taking five concrete 
steps:

     --  First, together with the Republic of Korea and Japan, we will 
establish the Korean Energy Development Organization   This multilateral 
consortium will provide South Korea-type light-water reactors and 
alternative energy to the North.  South Korean companies will play a 
central role in the provision of the reactors, just as the Republic of 
Korea will play a central role in the management of KEDO.  The United 
States, the ROK and Japan will meet this month to prepare for a 
multilateral KEDO conference we plan to hold before the New Year.

     --  Second, American representatives will meet with North Korea 
this weekend in Pyongyang to discuss safe storage of the spent fuel 
under IAEA scrutiny until it is shipped out of the country at a later 
time.

     --  Third, later this month in Beijing, the United States and North 
Korea will begin to discuss the light water reactor project.

     --  Fourth, the IAEA will soon meet with the North to agree how to 
monitor the freeze of the North's nuclear program.

     --  Finally, in early December, we will meet with the North Koreans 
in Washington to discuss establishing liaison offices in our capitals.

     President Kim has also made it clear that the Republic of Korea is 
determined to move forward.  As the President indicated, the agreement 
has provided a basis for lifting your country's ban on business contacts 
with North Korea.  As the Framework is implemented, these links can 
demonstrate to the North the concrete benefit of ending its isolation 
and can mark the beginning of a better future for all Koreans.

     The United States and the Republic of Korea are determined that 
North Korea's commitments be implemented fully and faithfully.  This 
agreement, like any good agreement, rests on compliance and verification 
-- not on trust.

     The path to full implementation has defined checkpoints. If at any 
checkpoint, North Korea fails to fulfill its obligations, it will lose 
the benefits of compliance that it so clearly desires.  If it reneges, 
it will remain isolated.  And throughout the process, we will always 
take the steps necessary to assure the security of the Republic of Korea 
and the region.

     In implementing every phase of the Agreed Framework, we will 
continue to work with the Republic of Korea.  Our collective effort will 
open the door to a new and productive dialogue between the Koreas.  We 
share the conviction that the agreement cannot be fully implemented 
unless that dialogue moves forward.

     Let there be no doubt that we share serious concerns about other 
aspects of North Korea's behavior-- including the forward deployment of 
its conventional forces, missile proliferation, past support for 
terrorism, and disregard for human rights.  These concerns must be 
resolved if North Korea is to be brought fully into the community of 
civilized nations.

     We recognize that at times, our resolve will be tested.  But I am 
convinced our common efforts will raise the possibility that the last 
bitter legacy of the Cold War, the division of the Korean peninsula, can 
finally be overcome.

     As we go down this untravelled road together, I want to make a 
pledge to you on behalf of President Clinton and the American people:  
The United States will stand by you.  We will remain unshakeably 
committed to your defense.

     We know that North Korea continues to present both a nuclear and a 
conventional threat.  Accordingly, American soldiers, at the existing 
force level of 37,000 troops, will continue to stand watch with the ROK 
armed forces over the most fortified frontier in the world.  As 
President Clinton has pledged, "our troops will stay here as long as the 
Korean people want and need us here."

     The bedrock of our security commitment to the region will remain 
our forward military presence, supported by our treaty alliances with 
the ROK, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand.  We now have 
nearly the same number of troops in Asia as in Europe.  We will maintain 
our force levels and their military readiness in Korea and elsewhere in 
this vital region.

     In Asia, just as in Europe and the Middle East, the future is being 
shaped by a central geostrategic fact: no great power now views another 
as an immediate military threat.  The end of the Cold War means that we 
and our allies can now work with China and Russia to resolve common 
security concerns in the Pacific.  That is why we are encouraging new 
regional security dialogues among past and potential adversaries.

     In this respect, we welcome the inauguration of the ASEAN Regional 
Forum last July, and we applaud the important role that the Republic of 
Korea has played in its creation.  The inclusion of China, Russia, and 
Vietnam in the forum reflects the enormous changes and opportunities 
transforming the Asia-Pacific region.  The Northeast Asian security 
dialogue also provides a valuable forum for advancing our common 
interest in regional stability.

     We seek to turn enmity to understanding, and suspicion to 
cooperation.  For example, we are encouraging Chinese leaders to allay 
the concerns of their neighbors by being more open about their defense 
planning.  We have also been working with China to advance important 
nonproliferation goals.  Last month, we agreed to work for a global ban 
on producing fissile materials for nuclear weapons.  And Beijing pledged 
not to export missiles that fall under the Missile Technology Control 
Regime.

     The United States' commitment to security and stability in the 
Asia-Pacific region safeguards our nation's enduring stake in the 
region's remarkable prosperity.  Expanding trade and investment with the 
world's fastest growing region is vital to our economic security.  
Asia's markets now support 2.5 million American jobs.  Through APEC, 
GATT, and our bilateral dialogues, the United States is working to widen 
our opportunities to participate in Asia's economic boom.

     Last year in Seattle, President Clinton convened the historic first 
meeting of the leaders from the APEC members.  Later this week I will be 
in Jakarta for this year's APEC Ministerial Meeting, and the President 
will soon arrive for the Leaders Meeting.  With the help of the Republic 
of Korea and other APEC members, we hope to fuel the momentum for 
liberalization and cooperation generated last year.  We fully support 
the ambitious agenda of President Soeharto, this year's APEC chairman, 
to establish the goal of free and open trade in the region by a set 
date.

     Ratifying the GATT Uruguay Round agreement is another critical step 
in opening markets and spurring growth.  As you know, the President is 
committed to GATT ratification and open trade.  I trust that all our 
Pacific partners -- including Korea --  will show similar resolve in 
ratifying the Round now.

     The United States and the Republic of Korea share a growing stake 
in the economic dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region, and in an open 
world trading system.  The Korean people have made their economy the 
13th largest in the world.  We are your largest export market; you are 
our seventh largest.

     The Dialogue for Economic Cooperation (DEC) initiated in July 1993 
by President Kim and President Clinton is an example if the new maturity 
of our bilateral and economic relationship.  Now we must build on the 
progress we made through the DEC to overcome the barriers that remain to 
imports in important sectors like agriculture and autos.

     Under President Kim, Korea is integrating its economy into the 
world trading system.  It is driving an ambitious regional trade 
liberalization effort through its leadership of APEC's Trade and 
Investment committee.  And in its bid to become a member of the OECD--a 
bid backed by the United States--it is signaling its willingness to 
assume the leadership responsibilities of a developed nation.  Once a 
recipient of foreign aid, the Republic of Korea is now an aid donor.

     As a successful democratic nation, Korea has many lessons to share.  
Korea has demonstrated that a developing market economy flourishes 
alongside robust political competition and free trade unions.  And it 
has shown that sustained economic development is more likely where 
government is accountable to the people, where the rule of law protects 
property and contracts, and where people have access to uncensored 
media.

     No one needs to tell the Korean people that democracy is not a 
Western export.  Indeed, you have reminded us that the yearning for 
freedom is based on a fundamental respect for human dignity that is 
common to all cultures.  As President Kim has said:   "Respect for human 
dignity, plural democracy and free market economics have firmly taken 
root as universal values."  And let me add that our alliance is stronger 
than ever because that conviction has prevailed in this country.

     Presidents Clinton and Kim have strengthened the ties between our 
two nations.  Each is committed to reform and economic renewal.  Each is 
committed to our solemn alliance.  I know that President Clinton 
especially admires President Kim's personal courage and dedication to 
democracy.

     The common aspirations of our peoples have brought us to this 
hopeful point.  The future holds even greater promise.  A Korean 
peninsula finally liberated from the ever-present fear of conflict.  An 
open door to the resolution of Korea's greatest tragedy, the division of 
its people.  And our two nations working together in partnership for a 
more secure, prosperous, and democratic Asia.

     On the eve of the next century, the United States and the Republic 
of Korea face this future in a spirit of confidence and cooperation.

     Let me conclude by commenting briefly on yesterday's mid-term 
congressional elections in the United States.  It is an almost unbroken 
tradition that the party that holds the Presidency -- currently the 
Democrats -- loses seats in the Congress in the mid-term elections.  
History tells us that the President's party will suffer losses at mid-
term.  Tonight in America, that is certainly the case.

     But it is also a tradition that whatever the outcome of the mid-
term elections, there is a strong continuity in American foreign policy.  
I want to assure this international audience that we intend to go 
forward in the spirit of bipartisanship and continuity.  We will remain 
strong and steadfast in our commitments around the world.

     Our policy toward Asia and particularly toward Korea has strong 
bipartisan support.  I am confident that there will be continuity in our 
unshakeable commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea, and to 
the maintenance of our troop levels here.

     I am also confident that the Agreed Framework, which puts the North 
Korea Nuclear issue on the road to resolution, will command strong 
bipartisan support.  That agreement, and the North-South dialogue, are 
in the best interest of the United States, the Republic of Korea, and 
all the nations in the region, and as such, they merit unswerving 
support.

     Our partners in the global economy should know that there will also 
be continuity in our Administration's approach to international economic 
policy and our commitment to open trade.

     As Secretary of State, I have devoted considerable time to close 
consultation with our Congress, both with Democrats and Republicans.  
The major elements of our foreign policy have had bipartisan support, 
and I look forward to working with the new Congress to forge a 
bipartisan foreign policy.

     Thank you very much.

(###)
To the top of this page