THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Jakarta, Indonesia) ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release November 17, 1994 BACKGROUND BRIEFING BY SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ON KOREAN BILATERAL
November 14, 1994
U.S. Ambassador's Residence Jakarta, Indonesia
4:11 P.M. (L)
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The President and President Kim met for about 45 minutes. Two subjects essentially were the Korean nuclear agreement and APEC, and the U.S.-Korean relationship generally.
President Kim was very pleased with reaffirmations in recent days by the Secretary when he was in Korea and by the President of our security ties and support for South Korea. The President reaffirmed that in this meeting as well, and says he feels as strongly about that as when he visited there a year ago and on his trip to Seoul, and that the United States will stay on in Korea as long as needed and wanted. And Kim expressed his gratitude for that.
Kim mentioned his offer a few days ago to North Korea to encourage business contacts and economic interaction, was disappointed at their refusal, but indicated that he didn't consider this necessarily a final response. And the President applauded that initiative by President Kim and hoped indeed there would be a positive response.
The general importance of North-South dialogue in order to settle the future of the Peninsula and to move ahead generally for stability there was underlined by both. They both agreed that this was crucial. And the President said that he supported this very much and was stressing this to all the other interested parties, namely the need for the North and the South to talk directly.
They both stressed, of course, the need to faithfully implement the agreement, and have been saying that to other delegations who were here for this conference. They each met with the Prime Minister of Japan today and it was clear that there was solidarity in their respective conversations with the Japanese about careful implementation of the agreement and going together in close consultations.
Then they moved on, actually, briefly to the GATT. I said APEC, but they both stressed the importance of ratifying the GATT. The President was confident he'd get this ratified in early December. President Kim said he was going to also move ahead with the GATT ratification, although it would probably be somewhat later than that, but hopefully before the end of the year.
Then they talked about APEC, and they both underlined the importance they attach to it. The President said he was generally very pleased with the direction of APEC since they had their meeting last year in Seattle. He said he thought it was important for the leaders to keep showing progress and when ministers or leaders met every year.
The President also said he hoped there would be a unanimous and strong statement coming out of here at the end of the Bogor meeting. And Kim also indicated that he generally was hopeful for this.
Q That was a strong statement --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I mean, there will be a leaders' statement at the end of the Bogor meeting tomorrow, and the President was indicating, hoped that would be a strong, bold statement. And Kim said that as well, and they were both supportive of a significant outcome. That's rather general, but that's what's floating out there, and that's what they hope to work toward.
Q Did they talk about how much of the burden the South would be willing to bear for the energy assistance to the North as part of --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, they didn't go into that kind of detail.
Q Where are they in terms of the structure of the lightwater reactors for North Korea? How much is South Korea going to pay and how much is North --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- again, the details, but I think it's fair to say that it's clear that the three are working closely together and that South Korea will play a very essential role in that, and Japan also will play a significant role. But they haven't worked out the exact shares yet.
Q How far apart are --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There will be some experts meetings in a few days.
Q And it --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I mean, not apart. I mean, they're just getting into the specific details. It's only been a short while since they began these consultations. There will be experts meeting in a few days on this and we should make further progress.
Q Any stated points of difference with -- any stated points of difference between the U.S. and --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I didn't see any significant points of difference at all. In fact, considerable solidarity, great solidarity; and, as I say, the centrality of the North-South dialogue as well as careful implementation.
Q Kim does not speak English. This was done through interpreters?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Oh, yes.
Q pretty brief, isn't it?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- brief. It might have been 50 minutes or something. But no, they covered what they had to cover, and the foreign ministers have been meeting as well.
END4:17 P.M. (L)