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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 616-96
November 01, 1996

28TH US/REPUBLIC OF KOREA SECURITY CONSULTATIVE MEETING JOINT COMMUNIQU

November 1, 1996

1. The 28th US/Republic of Korea Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) was held in Washington, DC on 31 October and 1 November 1996. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and ROK Minister of National Defense Kim Dong Jin led their respective delegations, which included senior defense and foreign affairs officials. Prior to the SCM, the Chairmen of the respective joint Chiefs of Staff, General John M. Shalikashvili and General Yoon Yong Nam, presided over the 18th US/ROK Military Committee Meeting (MCM) on October 31.

2. Secretary Perry and Minister Kim discussed the international security situation and reviewed the strategic environment on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. They reaffirmed that the security of the Peninsula is essential to the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, which in turn are vital to the security of the United States and to world peace. They noted that US forces in Korea have made and continue to make a significant contribution to the deterrence of war on the Korean Peninsula and to the stability of Northeast Asia. They also agreed that the US-ROK long-term security relationship should continue to be developed in a mutually beneficial way.

3. The two Ministers reaffirmed the fundamental principle that the establishment of a stable, permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula is the task of the Korean people. Both agreed that South and North Korea should take the lead in the search for a permanent peace arrangement, and that separate negotiations between the United States and North Korea on peace-related issues cannot be considered. In this light, the Minister and the Secretary affirmed the importance of the Four Party talks proposed by President Clinton and President Kim Young Sam on 16 April 1996 on Cheju Island, and urged North Korea to respond positively to this proposal. Secretary Perry and Minister Kim also shared the view that inter-Korean dialogue and cooperative measures should resume on the basis of the "Agreement on Reconciliation, Non-aggression, and Exchanges and Cooperation between the South and the North" (the South-North Basic Agreement) of 1992 and that the "Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" should be implemented. They reaffirmed that the Military Armistice Agreement of 1953 remains valid until superseded by a permanent peace arrangement reached through direct talks between South and North Korea.

4. Both Ministers agreed that full implementation of the Agreed Framework of 21 October 1994 would greatly enhance peace and stability in the region. They called upon North Korea to ensure full transparency of past, present, and future nuclear activities in conformity with the Agreed Framework. They also called upon North Korea to resume inter-Korean dialogue, a key component of the Agreed Framework, and to come into full compliance with its obligations under the NPT and its IAEA safeguards agreement. The two Ministers reaffirmed that the ROK and US would continue to work together to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

5. Secretary Perry and Minister Kim expressed serious concern that recent North Korean actions and statements had raised political and military tensions on the Peninsula. In particular, both Ministers shared the view that the submarine infiltration of armed North Korean commandos was a serious violation of the Armistice Agreement and constituted a threat to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in the region. The two Ministers also agreed to firmly and jointly respond to North Korean armed provocations, and strongly urged North Korea to take appropriate steps to prevent recurrence of such provocations. The two Ministers also expressed concern that North Korea's large conventional forces, build-up of long-range firepower, and missile program threaten ROK and US national interests and objectives on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. In this connection, they urged North Korea to enter into direct talks with the ROK Government to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula, to promote mutual confidence building, and to provide greater transparency regarding weapons of mass destruction and conventional military forces.

6. Both Ministers agreed that the ROK-US security alliance remains strong and is appropriately focused on deterring renewed hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. Secretary Perry reaffirmed the US commitment to render prompt and effective assistance to repel any armed attack against the ROK, in accordance with the US- ROK Mutual Defense Treaty of 1954, and to provide a nuclear umbrella for the ROK. Minister Kim reaffirmed that the ROK will continue to modernize its armed forces and to assume increased responsibility for its own defense. The two Ministers emphasized that the combined US-ROK forces on the Peninsula are a defensive force that needs to continue to emphasize combined readiness, tactics, doctrine, professionalism, discipline, vigilance, and high morale. Both Ministers shared the view that a robust schedule of combined exercises is vital to deterring war on the Peninsula and enhancing combined defense readiness. They also agreed to have further consultations on the Team Spirit exercise, taking into account various factors including the security environment on the Peninsula.

7. Minister Kim and Secretary Perry exchanged views on the mid- and long-term future of the security relationship, taking into account changes in the security environment on the Korean Peninsula, and agreed that continued strengthening of ROK-US bilateral security cooperation would further promote stability and peace in the region. The two Ministers were briefed on the results of the US-ROK mid- and long-term security dialogue, held between senior working-level defense officials of both countries since last year. The two agreed that the security dialogue had broadened the consensus among defense policy-makers of the two countries on the long-term direction of the US-ROK security relationship.

8. Minister Kim and Secretary Perry agreed that the Subcommittees of the SCM (Policy Review; Logistics Cooperation; Security Cooperation; and Defense Technology and Industrial Cooperation) all contributed substantially to the success of the 28th SCM. Both Ministers agreed that US-ROK logistics, defense industry, and technological cooperation, including joint research and development projects, should be developed in a mutually beneficial manner.

9. The two delegations agreed that the 28th SCM and 18th MCM provided an excellent opportunity to further solidify the US-ROK security relationship and address issues dealing with the current and future security relationship. Both Ministers agreed to maintain close consultations and to hold the next SCM at a mutually convenient time in 1997 in Seoul.

10. Minister Kim expressed his appreciation to Secretary Perry and the U.S. delegation for their warm welcome and gracious hospitality, and for the excellent arrangements that made this meeting successful.