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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 6, 2018 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
(There were statements on the overview of the Cabinet meeting and others.)
 
Q&As
 
REPORTER: I have a question regarding the visit to North Korea by the special envoy of the President of the Republic of Korea (ROK). Chairman Kim Jong-un has reportedly met with the special envoy. Could you tell us what information the Government has on this meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, we would like to receive a necessary briefing on the meeting from the ROK. At the current point we have yet to receive any specific information. Therefore, we would like to receive a briefing in due course. In any event, there is no change to the Government’s view that, when engaging with North Korea, including the recent dispatch of the special envoy, it is important to make any responses by fully taking into account the lessons of the past, namely that previous dialogue with North Korea has not led to denuclearization. Japan is of the view that it is of the utmost importance for North Korea to commit to the abandonment of its nuclear and missile development programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and demonstrate it with its concrete actions. While continuing to share information fully among Japan, the United States and the ROK, we will continue to closely coordinate our policies toward North Korea. As I have just noted, we have yet to receive a briefing on the outcomes of the meeting at the current point. We would like to receive a briefing.
 
REPORTER: If the Government expects to receive a briefing from the ROK on the meeting, at what level will it receive that?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Nothing specific has been decided. With respect to North Korean issues, it has been the case that the Foreign Minister or director-general (in charge) receives such a briefing. We expect that it would be done at these levels. .
 
REPORTER: I have a related question. Would it be possible to assume that there is no change in the Government’s view that any dialogue is meaningless unless North Korea agrees to denuclearization?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just noted, given that dialogue for the sake of dialogue is completely meaningless, it is of the utmost importance for North Korea to commit itself to abandon its nuclear and missile development programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and demonstrate it with concrete actions. In any event, it is extremely important to continue to engage in close Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation and use all means in applying maximum pressure on North Korea in order to make it change its policies. The Government’s understanding is that the United States is in complete concurrence with this stance.
 
REPORTER: What is the Government’s analysis of the intentions and purposes of the ROK in sending an envoy to North Korea at this point in time?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: While we are not in a position to explain the intentions of the ROK, what I would say is that it is extremely important for Japan, the United States and the ROK to continue to increase pressure on North Korea. Through various meetings to date, including Japan-ROK summit meetings, Japan-U.S. summit meetings, and Prime Minister Abe’s exchanges of views with Vice President Pence, the three countries have spent a great deal of time analyzing the situation in North Korea and closely coordinating the policies. It is against that backdrop that we remain steadfast in our position of using all means to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to make it changes its policies.
 
REPORTER: How does the Government see this visit made by the representative of the ROK to North Korea?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: For our part, there is no change in our position that we will respond to the situation based on our policy of cooperating and sharing information with the United States and the ROK.
 
(Abridged)

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