EU Troika visit to Pyongyang & Seoul
European Union Delegation of the European Commission Seoul, December 9-12, 2003.
Visit : Senior EU officials visited the DPR Korea from December 9 to 12, 2003 for the EU - DPRK political dialogue meeting. The visit of the Delegation demonstrates the commitment of the EU to actively contribute to a peaceful solution to the current tense situation. The EU - DPRK political dialogue sessions have taken place around once a year since 1998. They allow the opportunity to discuss a full range of issues of concern to both sides.
The EU delegation :The EU delegation was led by Mr. Guido Martini, Director General for Asia at the Italian Foreign Ministry, Mr. Percy Westerlund, Director at the European Commission, Mrs. Cliona Manahan, Director at the Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Anastassios Vikas, Deputy Director General at the European Council Secretariat.
Meetings in the DPRK :In the DPRK the EU delegation met the Foreign Minister, Mr. Paik Nam Sun, the Vice President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Mr. Yang Hyong Syop, the Vice Foreign Minister for Europe and Russia, Mr. Kung Sok Ung, the DPRK Delegate at Panmunjom, General Ri Chan Bok, the Director for Europe at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Kim Chun Guk and representatives of the Economic Institute of the Council of Ministers.
The EU delegation met members of the international aid community and EU diplomats who are resident in Pyongyang. The delegation took the opportunity to observe several EU funded humanitarian assistance projects in the South Pyongan province. The EU delegation called on a DPRK NGO, PIINTEC, which facilitates contact between research institutes and business training.
The issues : The EU expressed grave concern at the DPRK's nuclear programme. The EU representatives suggested that the DPRK would enhance its own security and that of the whole region if it renounced any nuclear capability. The EU delegation was able to hear directly from North Korean officials how the DPRK sees the current situation.
The EU side also encouraged the DPRK to continue its moratorium on the testing of missiles and to join the remaining five conventions against terrorism that it has not yet acceded to.
The two sides discussed recent developments in the DPRK economy. The EU said that a settlement of the nuclear issue would provide an opportunity for increased economic training and exchanges between the EU and the DPRK. Experts on human rights from both sides attended the meeting. The EU side said that it was in favour of continuing dialogue in the area and was disposed to share expertise with the DPRK in all areas of concern.
Visit to the Republic of Korea
The EU delegation subsequently traveled via Panmunjom to visit Seoul for meetings with Republic of Korea government officials. In Seoul the EU delegation held meetings with the Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan, and the Deputy Minister of Unification, Cho Kun Sik.