Joint Press Availability With Secretary of State Kerry and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, May 18, 2015

Seoul, South Korea–(ENEWSPF)–May 18, 2015.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) We’re now on. We would like to start this joint – with Foreign Minister Yun and Secretary Kerry, the speeches by both ministers, and also we would like to have a Q&A session later.

First of all, I would like to listen to the speech by Minister Yun.

FOREIGN MINISTER YUN: (Via interpreter) Good afternoon. It is my pleasure, once again, to welcome Secretary Kerry and his delegation to Korea. Secretary Kerry and I met in Munich last February, and also about a month ago we had a conversation over the phone, and today we had our 10th meeting for the last two years. The reason why we get to meet more often than ever is because our agenda is expanding beyond the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asia towards the rest of the world. Another reason is that Korea is to play a bigger role beyond the lynchpin for the peace and prosperity of the Asia Pacific.

Today’s talks took note of not only the severity of the recent threats and provocations, and various ways mobilize nuclear missile and conventional means, but also the changeability and uncertainty of the North Korean internal situations that have been recently developing. In order to effectively cope with such new threats, we agreed to further strengthen our policy coordination at the high level on North Korea, and the combined deterrence by the ROK and the U.S. Also with a view to bringing substantive progress, we agreed to put stronger pressure and deploy more active efforts for dialogue among five parties of the close consultations and the concerned parties.

In addition, with this year marking the 70th anniversary of the Korean independence and the seventh – 70-year-old division of the Korean Peninsula, both the Secretary and I shared our recognition that this year has a special meaning. Secretary Kerry expressed his full support for the unification policy and inter-Korean dialogue efforts of the ROK. We also agreed on the need to continue to explore peace and stability on the Northeast Asia through improved relations among the nations in the region. Secretary Kerry expressed his clear U.S. position that improvement of bilateral relations, as in Korea-China, Korea-Japan, Japan-China relations, is in harmony and compatible for the rebalancing policy of the U.S. toward the Asia Pacific region.

In relation to this, Secretary Kerry praised diplomatic efforts made by the ROK to make contribution to the peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia, as seen in the opening of the Korea-China-Japan foreign ministers meeting last March, and to make improvement of bilateral relations. And also he expressed his strong support for Korean efforts to realize the opening of the Korea-Japan-China summit in the near future.

Both sides reaffirmed that the U.S.-ROK alliance is playing a crucial role in keeping peace and stability in the Asia Pacific, and agreed to strengthen cooperation. As such, we discussed the necessity of reconciliation based on the correct historical recognition among countries in the region for the sustainable peace in the Northeast Asia.

We also have agreed to strengthen the unique role and contribution for the opening of the meeting commemorating the 17th anniversary of the United Nations’ high-level meeting of global health security agenda, post-2015 development summit climate change conference, and also agreed to intensify cooperation on disaster relief, nonproliferation, energy security, and also cyberspace, as well as the aerospace.

In this process, we shared our view that the ROK-U.S. summit scheduled in June would be an important milestone, opening a new horizon of the U.S.-ROK alliance. And also, Secretary Kerry expressed his expectation that the summit meeting to be followed by the previous ones in 2013 and 2014 would reap the best possible outcome, and the – befitting the unique strategic values of the U.S.-Korea alliance.

Secretary Kerry and I agreed to closely cooperate with the success of summit meetings next month. Secretary Kerry and I agreed to continue high-level strategic consultations, including the visit to the U.S. by President Park in June, ARF meeting in August, and APEC conference in November.

Once again, I welcome Secretary Kerry’s visit to Korea. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good afternoon, everybody. And let me begin by thanking my friend, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, for a very generous welcome here in Seoul. We had a terrific dinner last night, an opportunity to have a very expansive conversation that reflects the depths of our relationship. We talked about almost all of the global issues that challenge us. And I also want to thank President Park. We had a very productive meeting earlier today in which I first conveyed President Obama’s greetings and expressed how much he is looking forward to President Park’s visit to Washington in June, next month. We discussed, again, a broad array of the issues that are of enormous importance to us, and I thanked her on behalf of the United States and the global community, for the increased, significant role that the Republic of Korea is playing with respect to global issues. We’re very grateful for that partnership, and it’s part of what strengthens the overall alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea.

This is the first chance, by the way, that I have had to be here in Seoul since the appalling attack on Ambassador Mark Lippert, and I just want to thank – I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people of South Korea for their remarkable outpouring of concern about his health and their affection for him and for our country. And I thank them particularly for the great care that they provided to our ambassador. We’re all very grateful that Ambassador Lippert has hardly missed a beat in terms of his performance of his duties, and much of that is thanks to the exceptional care that he received here in Seoul.

The U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance first grew out of the shared desire to address security concerns in the region. And as Byung-se and I discussed today, our security alliance and overall relationship is absolutely stronger than ever, thanks in part to the three major agreements that we have reached over the past year or so: the agreement on the transfer of OPCON – operational control, as we call it – with respect to the military operations; the Special Measures Agreement; and most recently, the 123 Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

But this only scratches the surface of our cooperation. There are many other things that we’ve been cooperating on – counter violent extremism, countering ISIL – Daesh, as we know it; the ways in which we have cooperated on Ebola, in a unique effort by the Republic of Korea to join the global community by sending three teams, contributing money, and putting itself on the line to join in this global initiative.

Now, obviously, the biggest security concern that we share together is North Korea. Let me underscore there is no daylight – not an inch, not a centimeter, not a microscope – of difference between the United States and the Republic of Korea in our approach to the question of North Korea’s provocations and its nuclear program. And it can be said with respect to all of our policy towards the DPRK, we are working together in the same direction, in the same goal. Together, we and the Republic of Korea and our other partners in Northeast Asia are continuing to put persistent, principled diplomacy at the center of our efforts. And the United States continues to offer Pyongyang an improved bilateral relationship if, and only if, and when it demonstrates a genuine willingness to fulfill its denuclearization obligations and commitments, and when it shows a willingness to address other important concerns shared by the international community.

To date, to this moment, particularly with its recent provocations, it is clear that the DPRK has not even come close to meeting that standard. Instead, it continues to pursue nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles; it continues to break promises and make threats; and it continues to show flagrant disregard for international law, while denying its own people the protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights. And that is why it is absolutely critical for the global community to continue to shed light on North Korea’s atrocities against its own people. That’s why it’s important for us to ramp up international pressure for North Korea to change its behavior. And that is why the United States and South Korea will continue to modernize our alliance in order to fully and decisively counter any threat that Pyongyang may pose to peace and security on the peninsula.

And it is also why, for the first time, the UN Security Council last year took up the question of a referral of North Korea, and particularly Kim Jong-un’s behavior, to the International Criminal Court. And if their horrific conduct continues, it is hard to see how that referral to the Criminal Court would not take place. Their behavior is against all notions of conscience, all standards of behavior, anywhere in the world. It is among the very worst, and we will increasingly shed light on the nature of that behavior against its people – not just against the elite that it’s willing to execute, but against its own people who it’s willing to oppress and starve.

Our commitment to South Korea’s security is absolutely ironclad. But more importantly, or equally importantly I think I should say, the partnership of our nations is growing and it extends far beyond the cooperation on security itself. This morning, we also discussed this growing economic relationship. Today the Republic of Korea is our sixth-largest trading partner in the world. Trade between our countries exceeded $145 billion last year. And as we continue to make progress on implementing the KORUS Free Trade Agreement, that number is certain to grow.

American and Korean businesses, workers, and customers are already seeing the benefits of that agreement. Just one example: last year, U.S. auto exports to South Korea topped $1 billion, making the Republic of Korea America’s 10th-largest export market for automobiles. So it works, and it works both ways, by the way – trade for the Republic of Korea moving in greater amount to the United States.

As the Republic of Korea’s role on the world stage continues to grow, increasingly, U.S.-Republic of Korea engagement is also focused on challenges. We are grateful for the humanitarian assistance that South Korea has provided in Syria, for example, and the multiple teams that I mentioned a moment ago who went to Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak. We’re also grateful for the generous contribution that the ROK has made to the Green Climate Fund, and we anticipate – we had a good discussion today about global climate change, and I know Korea is committed, together with the United States, to help make the negotiations in Paris in December a success. And President Park told me that Korea is working hard on its determined contribution to the efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, and hopefully, that will be an essential contribution to our overall efforts to help the world address the threat of climate change and ensure that we can reach an ambitious goal at the U.S. climate – at the UN climate conference in Paris in December.

As we discussed last night and again today, we are also deepening cooperation on a range of new frontiers that will help define the 21st century, including science and technology, space exploration, cyber issues – which I will be speaking about later this afternoon at Korea University. The United States and South Korea are strong allies and committed partners, but I want to make clear to everybody we are also close friends. And the close personal ties between Koreans and Americans underpin everything that our nations do together today, and everything that it will enable us to accomplish even more together as we move forward.

So again, I thank Foreign Minister Yun, I thank President Park, I thank the entire Korean Government for their clear commitment to building on the ties of our peoples and strengthening the partnership of our nations. Through President Park’s visit in 2013, and President Obama’s visit to Seoul last year, we have built a strong foundation on which to tackle these new frontiers. And as we prepare for President Park’s visit to Washington in a few weeks, we will continue to pursue even more ways in which we can work together to bring about greater prosperity, peace, and stability for our nations, for our neighbors, and for the future. Thank you.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) Thank you very much. Now we’d like to start the Q&A session. We’d like to answer questions from the media. We would like to have two questions from the Korean side and also the U.S. side each. And would you like to be brief in your questions when you raise questions?

First of all, we will entertain a question from a Korean reporter. The first question will be made by (inaudible) from SBS.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Thank you. Good afternoon. Since we have a limited number of questioners, I have three questions for myself, and excuse me. For the last three years, looking back, the North Korean policy of both U.S. and Korea have been in mismatched situations. President Park in the first year talked about the trust – consensus trust, and also this year, it is working – she’s working on the relationship improvement between the North and the South.

And also, we have a mismatched situation where the sounds were different, sounding different from the other side – from the U.S. and also Korea. In the meantime, North Korea has been working on the nuclear issues, and also the sanctions were focused on the issues in other countries and here. And also, we now are waiting for other things to happen, and those who – if we have the issues of that, the situation will be aggravated in the future. So I’d like to question: If you have any plans for the North Korea at the moment?

And second question is about the execution of Hyon Yong Chol.

SECRETARY KERRY: You have to – what was the question? If we have what?

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Yes, let me explain the last part. Do you have any plan —

SECRETARY KERRY: Don’t explain, (inaudible).

QUESTION: Do you have plans for —

SECRETARY KERRY: What was the question?

QUESTION: — the plans on the North Korea, in a more active manner? It’s my question. Does U.S. Government have plans in more detail on the North Korea, for example, based on the dialogue and negotiations? So is there any plan for the U.S. to make adjustment on the North Korean policy in the future based on the dialogue and negotiations in the future? It was the first question.

And continuing my questions, this is number two question: And currently, there was execution of Hyon Yong Chol, defense minister in the North Korea. And because of that, the leadership of Kim Jong-un must be assessed. What is your view and assessment of the leadership of Kim Jong-un? And also, you visited Beijing, and have you heard from Beijing what is their assessment on the leadership of Kim Jong-un?

My last and third question about the SLBM: And what do you assess, how do you assess the capabilities of SLBM in the North Korea? And in that regard, what is the ways – what are the ways for both U.S. and Korea work together in order to deal with the SLBM issues? Thank you very much.

SECRETARY KERRY: I just came from Beijing, where I had a meeting with President Xi and with the rest of his leadership team, and it is fair to say that China shares with the United States, with the Republic of Korea, with Japan, and with Russia, where I had been recently to Sochi to meet with President Putin, where he reaffirmed their concern for the need for North Korea to denuclearize.

So I think never has the international community been as united as we are now that, number one, North Korea needs to denuclearize; and number two, that they have not only not taken steps to move in that direction, but have grown the threat of their program and have acted with a kind of reckless abandon with respect to the global community and the United Nations sanctions and requirements. So we are talking now, and we talked this morning with President Park, as I talked in Beijing with leaders there, about the next steps that can or should be taken in order to move forward.

And this ties in to the sort of second part of the question, which is really: Is there a change or a shift? And the answer is we are more determined than ever to find a way to convince Kim Jong-un and North Korea that all they are doing now is isolating themselves further and creating greater risks to the region and to their own country. Everyone is determined to try to get to a genuine negotiation, but not to talks for the sake of talks. We have to have some indication from the leader of North Korea that they’re serious about engaging on the subject of their nuclear program. And when some people say, well, why don’t you just sit down and talk to them? The answer is everybody that I have listed has tried to reach out and offer a different path. Kim Jong-un recently rebuffed the invitation of President Putin to go to Russia; he has rebuffed the overtures of the leaders of China to engage on this topic; he has rebuffed our quiet efforts to try to reach out and engage in a discussion; and he has rebuffed the efforts of President Park to engage.

So no one should be under any illusion. This is an individual who has said no to every effort to reach out and find a reasonable way forward. And as a result of that, we are indeed talking about ways to increase the pressure and increase the potential of either sanctions or other means of making it clear to him that he is on a very dangerous course in the missile systems and pursuit, continued pursuit of his nuclear weapons program.

The SLBM is just one more example of that: provocative and contrary to the United Nations requirements; contrary to all international standards that he is supposed to live by. It’s one more element of provocation. And it really ties in to this question of the nature of the executions and the behavior of Kim Jong-un. The world is hearing increasingly more and more stories of grotesque, grizzly, horrendous public displays of executions on a whim and a fancy by the leader against people who were close to him and sometimes for the most flimsy of excuses. That is a manifestation also of the lack of opportunity and possibilities that most of the people of North Korea have in their lives, which makes his leadership one of the most egregious examples of reckless disregard for human rights and for human beings anywhere on the planet.

That is why the UN is looking at this issue of human rights and International Criminal Court, and I can assure you that we will intend to continue to not only put focus on that part of his behavior but also to find some way to come to a reasonable negotiation.

A final comment: The United States has said many times, and I repeat today, we are not seeking conflict; we are seeking a peaceful resolution of the differences that still exist after so many years on the peninsula. We have offered humanitarian assistance. We offer the possibilities of a normal relationship with normal economic assistance and other kinds of engagement with the rest of the world if he will simply make the decision to come to the table and deal on the issue of his nuclear program.

There is a stark comparison between the direction in which he is moving and the direction in which Iran has chosen to move, at least to this moment. And our hopes are that if we can, at the end of June, succeed in achieving an agreement with Iran, perhaps that can serve as an example to North Korea about a better way to move, a better way to try to behave, a more legitimate entry road to the global community and to the norms of international behavior.

MODERATOR: And the first American question is from Carol Morello of The Washington Post.

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, you and many other American officials have portrayed Daesh or Islamic State as being degraded and on the defensive. Does the fall of Ramadi suggest that the American strategy of training and equipping Iraqi forces plus airstrikes is not working? And if so, what needs to change?

And if I may, any reaction to strikes resuming in Yemen?

SECRETARY KERRY: We have always said from day one that the campaign against Daesh is a long one. It’s going to take a long time. We’ve always said that. And particularly in Anbar, where you don’t yet have the presence of the Iraqi Security Forces in the full numbers necessary to take the fight to Daesh everywhere yet – I underscore yet – there are targets of opportunity like Ramadi or somewhere else where Daesh has the ability to inflict great damage. Notice what they’ve done. They’ve destroyed. They’ve sent in huge numbers of vehicle-borne IEDs, big trucks, massive amounts of explosion, and they’ve destroyed the place. That’s hardly a future.

And I am convinced that as the forces are redeployed and as the days flow in the weeks ahead, that’s going to change, because overall in Iraq, Daesh has been driven back. As much as 30 to 30-plus percent of the area they once controlled they no longer control. Yesterday, thanks to the extraordinary skill and competency of some of our forces, a major leader who was responsible for their funding mechanism through the oil sales was eliminated from the battlefield and a significant intelligence gain was achieved in terms of information and potential information that is now in our hands.

In addition, their communications have been reduced, their funding and financial mechanisms have been reduced, and their movements by and large, and most certainly where there are air patrols and other capacities, have been reduced. But that’s not everywhere. And so it is possible to have the kind of attack we’ve seen in Ramadi, but I am absolutely confident in the days ahead that will be reversed. Large numbers of Daesh were killed in the last few days and will be in the next days, because that seems to be the only thing they understand. There is no negotiation. There is no proposal whatsoever to educate a child or build a school or a hospital or do something positive. And I think the people of Iraq and the people of the region understand that, which is why every single country in the region, bar none, is opposed to Daesh and is engaged in fighting them.

So I am confident about the longer road. But yes, there will be moments like yesterday in Ramadi and there will be some difficult challenges ahead. Part of the challenge is also dealing with Anbar and the tribes, which need more resources, more training, more initial cover from the Iraq Security Forces. And that will be, I am sure, the subject of much conversation over the course of the next few days.

With respect to Yemen, there is still only one solution to Yemen, which will be a political solution. But we know that the Houthi were engaged in moving some missile launcher capacity to the border, and under the rules of engagement it was always understood that if there were proactive moves by one side or the other, then that would be in violation of the ceasefire agreement, which by the way ends – I think ends at the end of last night at any rate. But with that move, Saudi Arabia under the rules of engagement took action to take out those missile launchers.

We continue to support the idea of extending the humanitarian pause, but I think under the circumstances at the moment that will be difficult. The UN talks are supposed to begin sometime soon. We encourage those talks, because in the final analysis the only resolution to this is going to come through a political arrangement by which Yemenis themselves, without external interference, are able to come to an accommodation in order to decide their future. And that’s what the UN is working towards and that’s what the United States supports.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) Thank you very much. Moving to the Korean press, would you like to entertain a question? Kim Mi-hyang from Hankyoreh.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Thank you. This morning, President Park and Minister Yun, both of them have talked about – and I have a question whether Japan was mentioned many times during the conversation with President Park and Minister Yun. We have a very souring opinion of the public, especially from last week. There is no negotiation or talk with Japan without the apology on the wartimes slavery, and 60 percent of the people in the opinion said that there is no dialogue with Japan. And also during the summit meeting between Korea and Japan it should be mentioned.

And also the public opinion getting soured and so on, and also there was a mentioning that was a wartime atrocity. And also, do you think that mentioning was appropriate and also wartime sex slavery was the same meaning as the wartime atrocity? And that was my first question.

Secondly, about the defense guideline between Japan and Korea, there was a respect for the state sovereignty. Although it was not mentioned there, does it mean that if there is a military action that can affect Korea, does it mean that the prior consent should be made by Korea? And there was an – that was an interpretation. However, there was no direct mentioning of that interpretation, but in Korea 70 percent of the public opinion says that, that there is no consent for the military action to be made in Korea. So that is a question for me. So what is your view on that?

FOREIGN MINISTER YUN: (Via interpreter) Was the question for Secretary Kerry only?

SECRETARY KERRY: I thought it was for Foreign Minister Yun. (Laughter.) Is the question for Foreign Minister Yun or for me?

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) The question was for Secretary Kerry.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, yes, we did discuss – of course, we discussed the issue of Japan. And we are very mindful of the critical role that all of us play in this region – Japan, South Korea, the United States. That’s why we’ve hosted trilateral meetings both to improve the coordination among close allies, our close allies, but also to ease the tension between them. Constructive relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, our most important allies in East Asia, are critical to being able to promote peace and prosperity in the region. Only three countries – our three countries – share quite as much as we share in common: democracy, a commitment to human rights, free markets. And when we work together there’s a great deal that we’re able to achieve. And we have stated many times that we believe that strong and constructive relations between the countries in the region are in everybody’s interest, so we are – we continue to emphasize the importance of approaching historical legacy issues in a manner that can promote healing and reconciliation. And we’re interested in seeing the parties be able to do that. We understand there will be a meeting before long, a bilateral meeting, and we hope that Japan and the Republic of Korea will be able to find a mutually accepted solution through that kind of meeting.

Now with respect to the powerful and important part of reconciliation that comes from the events of World War II, particularly the trafficking of women for sexual purposes by the Japanese military during that war, we have said many times that that was a terrible, egregious violation of human rights. And the apologies that have been extended by previous Prime Minister Murayama and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono marked a very important step forward, a chapter really, in Japan trying to improve relations with its neighbors. We take note of Japanese leaders’ repeated statements that the position of the Abe government is to uphold the Kono and the Murayama statements. The United States has continually encouraged Japan to approach this and other issues arising from the past in a manner that is conducive to building stronger relations with its neighbors. And we urge both Japan and the Republic of Korea to handle these sensitive historical issues, as I said, with restraint, and continue to engage in a direct dialogue towards a mutually acceptable resolution that promotes healing while facilitating a future-oriented relationship. And that is our policy and that is our goal.

With respect to the defense alliance, let me be crystal clear: The defense alliance with Japan was only entered into after a long period of consultation, many consultations with our friends in the Republic of Korea. And it is calculated specifically to strengthen our region and to strengthen the relationship between Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea. And importantly, no one should doubt for an instant that nothing can be done and would be done by Japan and the United States that does not comport with international law, and therefore anything with respect to the Republic of Korea that the Republic of Korea doesn’t consent to is absolutely against the law and would not be initiated in the first place.

So this is for the region. It should strengthen the region, and nobody should fall prey to mythology that is created out of whole cloth and has no relationship to the very carefully constructed language that limits the activities and that makes certain that they are activities that comport completely with international law. And I can tell you right now the United States wouldn’t contemplate doing something in the region, alone or otherwise, without consulting our friends and allies in the region. And that includes, obviously, this important relationship.

MODERATOR: The final question is from Sangwon Yoon with Bloomberg.

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, can you give more specifics on how you plan to boost sanctions or pressure against North Korea? And is – and has China come on board with the idea of referring Kim Jong-un to the International Criminal Court? And the rejections from the North Koreans thus far, how much is that an indicator of China not having as much leverage on the North, or perhaps the Chinese haven’t exerted enough pressure?

And one quick question for the minister. How much does Prime Minister Abe’s position on the historical and territorial issues hinder your efforts to improve coordination with the U.S. that will lead to a stronger trilateral relationship? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: So I’ll be very quick. With respect to the ICC, the International Criminal Court, no decision has yet been made. What I said in my comments is that the current behavior is certain to attract increased scrutiny of the Security Council, increased scrutiny of the UN, and is well on its way to leading to that kind of referral. But a decision has obviously not yet been made, and no country has yet said publicly what it believes should happen or should not happen. But the behavior gets worse and it’s hard to imagine that given the current level of behavior, it isn’t going to ultimately wind up in that direction, which is what I said.

With respect to the methodology for the boosting of sanctions and other things, we’re discussing all of that now. China obviously has extraordinary leverage. And China, to its credit – and this is very important – China has made many very significant additional steps in order to put additional pressure on North Korea. China, in fact, has not yet even met with Kim Jong-un and has undertaken a number of trade measures, a number of border measures, a number of other decisions which have an impact on the flow of goods into North Korea.

And so there’s no issue about whether or not China has been a real partner in trying to move things. Are there some things that all of us think might be able to done – be ratcheted up? I think that’s true for all of us that there are things that we could do. But we – this was part of the purpose of my coming out here now to engage in this discussion. And we will have a Security – Economic and Security Dialogue with the Chinese in Washington in June, and that will be the moment where we will table some of these specific steps and begin to see if we can become more defined about the road that we’re all prepared to consider in the days ahead.

FOREIGN MINISTER YUN: (Via interpreter) Thank you very much. About the historical issue, does historical issue have impact on the relationship between Korea and the U.S.? That was the question. Basically speaking, President Park and her administration from starting has been trying to be reciprocal in terms of the Korea-Japan relationship and also Korea-U.S. relationship. And with the Korea-Japan relationship, President Park administration has been separate – has been separating the positions toward the reconciliation, also the relationship with Japan, and also has – her administration has been strict in terms of the historical matters. Of course, we have made a lot of efforts for that, and also I do not believe that because of historical issues there can be any obstacles to the cooperations between Korea and Japan. Despite those problems we are going to try our best in order to strengthen our relationship.

Not only that, would like to have the cooperations amongst many ministerial levels between the foreign ministers and also defense ministers, and so on. Also, this kind of two-track system will be maintained in the future. We are going to separate the historical issues and the rest of the matters, and I believe that is a steep very momentum for this year because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Korea and Japan. And last time we had the little bit disappointing remarks by the visitor from Japan; however, in the future we would like to expect that a virtuous cycle can be made in the future by having more sincere dialogues between Korea and Japan.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) Thank you very much. Thank you for both speakers. Thank you very much. This concludes the press conference of Secretary Kerry and Minister Yun. And also I’d like to ask the press reporters to move out of the room in fine lines. Thank you very much.

Source: state.gov