July 2, 1999

Press statement following the ROK-U.S. summit meeting


President Kim Dae-jung of the Republic of Korea, who is visiting the United States at the invitation of President Clinton, met with President Clinton for the summit meeting today, July 2, 1999, following their luncheon together. It was President Kim's third meeting with President Clinton since his inauguration in February, 1997. Cabinet members of both governments also attended the luncheon and the summit meeting.

In today's summit meeting, both presidents reaffirmed that the ROK and the U.S. would continue to maintain combined defense posture to deal resolutely with North Korea's provocations, such as the recent incursion across the Northern Limit Line(NLL).

President Kim reiterated his intention to pursue engagement policy toward the North with consistency, on the basis of solid national security. President Clinton expressed his full support for the ROK's efforts and reaffirmed his willingness to work closely with President Kim to move the engagement policy forward.

Both President Kim and President Clinton shared the view that the comprehensive approach toward the North, conducted under close consultation among the Republic of Korea, Japan and the United States, offers a historic opportunity to put an end to the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula by reducing mutual threats.

Both sides agreed to strive together to bring the North to fully understand the sincerity of our offer, and to respond positively to our comprehensive approach.

President Kim and President Clinton reviewed the circumstances relating to North Korea's possible missile test launch. Sharing the view that North Korea's additional missile test launch could bring about negative consequences, they agreed to work together with firm determination to prevent North Korea from conducting another launch.

President Kim stressed that the official dialogue between the south and the north is essential in realizing peaceful coexistence and expanding cooperation and exchanges on the Korean Peninsula, and explained the results of the recent South-North Vice-Ministerial talks to President Clinton. President Clinton welcomed the resumption of the South-North talks and hoped that the talks would achieve visible results. He also gave his firm support for the continued progress of the dialogue.

Recognizing the importance of the Agreed Framework to the nuclear non-proliferation, as well as peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, both presidents agreed to make sustained efforts to secure North Korea's compliance with the Agreed Framework. Also, they re-emphasized their commitment to the smooth progress of the LWR project.

President Kim explained Korean government's strenuous efforts to institute economic reforms, and expressed his appreciation for the support the U.S. has offered in the course of Korea's recovery from its economic crisis. President Clinton expressed his faith in Korean economy's capacity to regain its full strength, and promised assistance of his government in this regard.

The two presidents expressed their shared hope that "Revised Agreement Relating to Scientific and Technological Cooperation" and "Social Security Agreement" will facilitate scientific and technological exchanges and commercial activities between the two countries, thereby contributing to mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation.

In addition, the two presidents had an in-depth discussion on a wide range of global and regional issues, including ways to promote democracy and human rights around the world.

In particular, President Kim and President Clinton welcomed the first conference of "Joint Program on Democracy and Market Development in Asia" to be convened in Seoul later this month, which may serve as a forum for their further endeavors to promote democratic values in Asia.

Since President Kim's visit to the U.S. in June, 1998, the two presidents have been exchanging visits to respective capitals in biannual sequence, with President Clinton's visit to Seoul previous November and today's summit meeting. Such regularity of visits underscores the close relationship existing between the two countries, and contributes to the watertight coordination between the two governments.