The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 13, 2001

Statement by the President

Over the past several months, my Administration has been reviewing our policy towards North Korea.  We have recently discussed the results of our thinking with our close allies, South Korea and Japan.

We have now completed our review.  I have directed my national security team to undertake serious discussions with North Korea on a broad agenda to include: improved implementation of the Agreed Framework relating to North Korea's nuclear activities; verifiable constraints on North Korea's missile programs and a ban on its missile exports; and a less threatening conventional military posture.

We will pursue these discussions in the context of a comprehensive approach to North Korea which will seek to encourage progress toward North-South reconciliation, peace on the Korean peninsula, a constructive relationship with the United States, and greater stability in the region.  These are the goals South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung and I discussed during his visit here last March.  I look forward to working with him.

Our approach will offer North Korea the opportunity to demonstrate the seriousness of its desire for improved relations.  If North Korea responds affirmatively and takes appropriate action, we will expand our efforts to help the North Korean people, ease sanctions, and take other political steps.

I have asked Secretary of State Powell to outline our approach to South Korean Foreign Minister Han when they meet tomorrow here in Washington and we will also inform our allies in Japan.

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