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2008/08/07 11:04 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 15 (August 7, 2008)

   *** DATA ON NORTH KOREA

Excerpts from the Joint Statement of South Korea-U.S. Summit

President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea and President George W. Bush of the United States of America held a summit meeting in Seoul on August 6, 2008. The two Presidents recalled that their first summit meeting at Camp David on April 19 was a milestone in the development of a ROK-U.S. strategic alliance for the 21st century. In their August 6 meeting, the two leaders had in depth discussions on the development of the ROK-U.S. Alliance, the approval of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, the North Korean nuclear issue and other North Korea-related issues, and ways to expand cooperation on important bilateral, regional and global issues.

   The two Presidents agreed to develop the ROK-U.S. Alliance in a future-oriented way, based upon the traditional friendly relationship and mutual trust between the two nations. They also agreed to further strengthen strategic coordination and cooperation between the two countries with a view to the prompt resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and the creation of a new peace structure on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

   The two Presidents welcomed the progress made toward implementing the second-phase actions for the implementation of the Joint Statement of September 19, 2005 and shared the view that this progress contributes to peace and stability in Northeast Asia. They also agreed that a rigorous verification regime needs to be established in order to ensure the completeness and correctness of the declaration submitted by North Korea, and that the fulfillment of all the parties' obligations should be ensured through a monitoring mechanism within the Six-Party Talks framework.

   The two Presidents urged North Korea to promptly complete its commitments in the second phase of the denuclearization process and, through third-phase actions, to implement full abandonment of all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. The two Presidents reaffirmed their intent to take corresponding measures together with other participating countries in the Six-Party Talks, and agreed to continue close coordination between the Republic of Korea and the United States for the further progress in the Six-Party Talks.

   The two Presidents made it clear that they are committed to helping North Korea integrate into the international community and thereby partake in the peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. The two Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to improving the human rights situations in North Korea and shared the view that in the process of normalizing relations, meaningful progress should be made on improving North Korea's human rights record.

   President Bush reiterated his full support for President Lee's recent proposal to resume inter-Korean dialogue and his initiative to help improve the economic conditions for the North Korean people in the context of continued progress on denuclearization and to offer a path for the two Koreas to live side-by-side in harmony and prosperity, opening the way to their eventual unification. The two Presidents agreed to continue close cooperation and policy coordination on their relations with North Korea.

   President Bush expressed his regret and condolences regarding the shooting death of a South Korean tourist at the Mt. Kumgang resort area on July 11, and urged relevant North Korean authorities to engage in inter-Korean dialogue to promptly resolve the case and prevent any recurrence of such a tragedy.

  (END)