U.S. Department of State
Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman
October 2, 1998
The United States has just concluded two days of missile talks with North Korea. This was the third round of bilateral missile talks. Previous rounds were held in April 1996 and June 1997. This week's meetings were the result of an agreement reached during high-level talks in New York between August 21 and September 5.
The U.S. delegation was led by Robert Einhorn, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. The North Korean delegation was headed by Han Chang On, Director, Department of U.S. Affairs of the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The talks this week were serious and candid. The U.S. delegation stressed that we regarded as highly destabilizing the DPRK's attempt on August 31 to use a Taepo Dong 1 missile to orbit a small satellite. We told the North that we fully shared Japan's deep concern about the flight test, which overflew Japanese territory without prior notification.
The United States also voiced its strong opposition to the DPRK's missile exports to other countries. Such exports, including the sale of medium-range ballistic missile equipment and technology, have heightened tensions in already-unstable regions of the world.
The United States made clear to the DPRK that further launches of long-range missiles or further exports of such missiles or their related technology would have very negative consequences for efforts to improve U.S.-North Korean relations. We also reiterated our longstanding determination to safeguard the security of U.S. friends and allies and U.S. forces in Northeast Asia.
At the same time, the U.S. delegation emphasized that if the DPRK is prepared to cease its missile activities of concern, there could be a commensurate improvement in its relations with the United States.
We have agreed with the North Koreans to hold another round of missile talks at the earliest practical date, which will be determined through the New York channel.
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