DPRK-US Joint Communique

State Department, October 12, 2000.

As the special envoy of Chairman Kim Jong Il of the D.P.R.K. National Defense Commission, the First Vice Chairman, Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok, visited the United States of America from October 9-12, 2000.

During his visit, Special Envoy Jo Myong Rok delivered a letter from National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong Il, as well as his views on U.S.-D.P.R.K. relations, directly to U.S. President William Clinton. Special Envoy Jo Myong Rok and his party also met with senior officials of the U.S. Administration, including his host Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Secretary of Defense William Cohen, for an extensive exchange of views on issues of common concern. They reviewed in depth the new opportunities that have opened up for improving the full range of relations between the United States of America and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The meetings proceeded in a serious, constructive, and businesslike atmosphere, allowing each side to gain a better understanding of the other's concerns.

Recognizing the changed circumstances on the Korean Peninsula created by the historic inter-Korean summit, the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have decided to take steps to fundamentally improve their bilateral relations in the interests of enhancing peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. In this regard, the two sides agreed there are a variety of available means, including Four Party talks, to reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula and formally end the Korean War by replacing the 1953 Armistice Agreement with permanent peace arrangements.

Recognizing that improving ties is a natural goal in relations among states and that better relations would benefit both nations in the 21st century while helping ensure peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. and the D.P.R.K. sides stated that they are prepared to undertake a new direction in their relations. As a crucial first step, the two sides stated that neither government would have hostile intent toward the other and confirmed the commitment of both governments to make every effort in the future to build a new relationship free from past enmity.

Building on the principles laid out in the June 11, 1993 U.S.-D.P.R.K. Joint Statement and reaffirmed in the October 21, 1994 Agreed Framework, the two sides agreed to work to remove mistrust, build mutual confidence, and maintain an atmosphere in which they can deal constructively with issues of central concern. In this regard, the two sides reaffirmed that their relations should be based on the principles of respect for each other's sovereignty and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, and noted the value of regular diplomatic contacts, bilaterally and in broader fora.

The two sides agreed to work together to develop mutually beneficial economic cooperation and exchanges. To explore the possibilities for trade and commerce that will benefit the peoples of both countries and contribute to an environment conducive to greater economic cooperation throughout Northeast Asia, the two sides discussed an exchange of visits by economic and trade experts at an early date.

The two sides agreed that resolution of the missile issue would make an essential contribution to a fundamentally improved relationship between them and to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. To further the efforts to build new relations, the D.P.R.K. informed the U.S. that it will not launch long-range missiles of any kind while talks on the missile issue continue.

Pledging to redouble their commitment and their efforts to fulfill their respective obligations in their entirety under the Agreed Framework, the US and the D.P.R.K. strongly affirmed its importance to achieving peace and security on a nuclear weapons free Korean Peninsula. To this end, the two sides agreed on the desirability of greater transparency in carrying out their respective obligations under the Agreed Framework. In this regard, they noted the value of the access which removed U.S. concerns about the underground site at Kumchang-ri.

The two sides noted that in recent years they have begun to work cooperatively in areas of common humanitarian concern. The D.P.R.K. side expressed appreciation for significant U.S. contributions to its humanitarian needs in areas of food and medical assistance. The U.S. side expressed appreciation for D.P.R.K. cooperation in recovering the remains of U.S. servicemen still missing from the Korean War, and both sides agreed to work for rapid progress for the fullest possible accounting. The two sides will continue to meet to discuss these and other humanitarian issues.

As set forth in their Joint Statement of October 6, 2000, the two sides agreed to support and encourage international efforts against terrorism.

Special Envoy Jo Myong Rok explained to the US side developments in the inter-Korean dialogue in recent months, including the results of the historic North-South summit. The U.S. side expressed its firm commitment to assist in all appropriate ways the continued progress and success of ongoing North-South dialogue and initiatives for reconciliation and greater cooperation, including increased security dialogue.

Special Envoy Jo Myong Rok expressed his appreciation to President Clinton and the American people for their warm hospitality during the visit.

It was agreed that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will visit the D.P.R.K. in the near future to convey the views of U.S. President William Clinton directly to Chairman Kim Jong Il of the D.P.R.K. National Defense Commission and to prepare for a possible visit by the President of the United States.