Issue No. 35, March 1999
US-North Korea Agreement on Suspect Site
'US-DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] Joint Press
Statement,' 16 March 1999
Joint Press Statement
"Delegations from the United States and the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea met in New York from 27 February through 15
March, 1999. The delegations led respectively by US Special Envoy
Charles Kartman and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan,
continued discussions the two sides had held in Pyongyang,
Washington, New York, and Geneva since November 1998.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the Agreed
Framework of 21 October, 1994, in its entirety, as well as to the
principles of their bilateral relations expressed in the US-DPRK
Joint Statement of 11 June, 1993.
The US and the DPRK, believing that successful cooperation to
remove US concerns about an underground site at Kumchang-ni will
contribute to improved relations between the two countries, agreed
Source: Text - US-DPRK Joint Press Statement, United
States Information Service, 16 March.
- The DPRK has decided to provide the United States satisfactory
access to the site at Kumchang-ni by inviting a US delegation for
an initial visit in May 1999, and allowing additional visits to
remove US concerns about the site's future use.
- The United States has decided to take a step to improve
political and economic relations between the two countries."
Statement by US Secretary of State
Statement by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, State
Department Office of the Spokesman, 16 March 1999
"I'm pleased to be able to tell you that we've just reached an
agreement in New York with the North Koreans on access to the
suspect underground site at Kumchang-ni. This agreement comes after
four rounds of intensive talks between Ambassador Kartman and North
Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan.
The agreement we've reached addresses all of our concerns, and
it will enable us both to confirm and monitor the current and
future use of the suspect site. Specifically:
In the negotiations, we did not agree to North Korean demands for
'compensation' in return for access.
- The North Koreans have agreed to multiple site visits by a US
team to the underground site at Kumchang-ni.
- The first visit will be in May 1999, with follow-up visits
continuing as long as our concerns about the site remain.
- During each visit, the US team will have access to the entire
We did repeat to the DPRK something we've often said publicly;
removal of our suspicions concerning Kumchang-ni would enable us to
resume progress in our relationship as outlined in the Agreed
Framework. In this regard, we have decided to take a concrete step
in the form of a bilateral pilot agricultural project.
The United States is prepared to resume moving in the direction
envisioned in the Agreed Framework, and we hope the DPRK will take
the requisite actions that will enable us to do so.
Finally, I'm also able to announce that we have agreed with the
DPRK to resume missile talks on 29 March in Pyongyang."
Statement by UN Secretary-General
'Secretary-General welcomes agreement between Democratic
People's Republic of Korea and United states on Kumchang-ni Site,'
UN Press Release SG/SM/6932, 18 March 1999
"The following statement was issued yesterday by the Spokesman
for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
'The Secretary-General welcomes the agreement between the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States on
issues related to the underground site at Kumchang-ni, as well as
some other aspects of their bilateral relations. The agreement
confirms his strong belief that a determined diplomatic effort can
resolve even the most serious issues. The Secretary-General is
particularly pleased that the two sides have reaffirmed their
commitment to the Agreed Framework of 1994, in its entirety. He
hopes that the two countries will continue to successfully address
other issues of importance, thus contributing to the reduction of
tension in the Korean Peninsula and in the region.'"
© 1999 The Acronym Institute.
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