Denuclearization without condition is US’s goal: Sullivan

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Oct 18, 2017 - 18:00
  • Updated : Oct 18, 2017 - 18:00
Pressuring North Korea to come to the negotiation table without any condition is the US’ goal, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan reiterated Wednesday.

Speaking at a joint press conference after a three-way meeting with Seoul’s First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lim Sung-nam and Japan’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama, Sullivan reaffirmed Washington’s goal in dealing with North Korea. 

South Korean, US and Japanese diplomats hold a joint press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. From left: US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lim Sung-nam and Japan’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama. Yonhap

Highlighting that Washington would concentrate on diplomatic efforts, while keeping up the pressure, Sullivan said the current US administration would not follow the path of its predecessors and that President Donald Trump would reiterate the points he made during his visit next month.

Regarding Trump’s stay here being shorter than that in Japan and China, Sullivan said that the US president has allocated similar lengths of time to each country, and that he highly anticipates the visit and addressing South Korea’s National Assembly.

Trump will arrive here on Nov. 7 on a two-day schedule, after a three-day stay in Japan. He will then fly to Beijing to meet with Chinese leaders.

Lim echoed Sullivan on North Korean issues, saying that the three countries will closely collaborate on related issues.

“(He and his counterparts) shared assessment of the current situation regarding North Korea’s nuclear issue, and reaffirmed that the goal is complete denuclearization through peaceful means,” Lim said.

“(We) agreed to employ all possible diplomatic means including dialogue and sanctions under close cooperation among the three countries.”

Ahead of the three-way meeting, Lim held separate talks with his US and Japanese counterparts.

On the issue of Japan’s sexual enslavement of Korean women in the later parts of its occupation of Korea, Lim’s meeting with his Japanese counterpart appears to have achieved little more than confirming differences.

“(I) clearly relayed to (South Korea) the Japanese government’s position carrying out the agreement between South Korea and Japan on comfort women issues is very important,” Sugiyama said regarding his one-on-one meeting with Lim.

Sugiyama also said that he and Lim agreed that despite the difficult outstanding issues, the two countries should cooperate to take relations on a “future oriented” route, a phrase often repeated in matters regarding Seoul-Tokyo relations.

Along with the vice-ministerial meetings, Seoul’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon also met with US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun and Japan’s Director General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Kenji Kanasugi.

By Choi He-suk (