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TITLE Spokesperson's Press Briefing (December 13, 2016)
Date 2016.12.13

Press Briefing
Spokesperson and Deputy Minister for Public Relations Cho June-hyuck
Dec. 13, 2016 14:30 KST

Good afternoon. Let me start today’s briefing.

Today, I have three announcements to make.

First, on December 16, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se will hold a meeting and a working luncheon with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto of Hungary, who will make an official visit to the Republic of Korea on December 15 and 16.

During the meeting and the luncheon, the two top diplomats will discuss ways to step up substantive cooperation between their two countries with regard to Korean companies’ investment in automotive battery plants in Hungary and other new engines for growth, as well as in such sectors as defense industry, science, technology and infrastructure. Also on the agenda will be ways to work together with the EU and other international organizations in pressuring North Korea in response to its fifth nuclear test and to bolster cooperation at the UN and other international organizations.

Hungary, the first country in the former Eastern Bloc that established diplomatic relations with the ROK in 1989, takes an active part in the ROK-Visegrad Group cooperation. Minister Szijjarto’s forthcoming visit to the ROK is expected to serve as an opportunity to strengthen strategic cooperation between the ROK and Hungary on bilateral, regional and global issues.

Moving on to the second announcement, the North Atlantic Council (NAC), NATO’s principal decision-making body, will hold on December 15, local time, its first special meeting exclusively on North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues. NATO will send to North Korea a strong message of condemnation based on the outcome of the special meeting.

NATO has sent a message of condemnation in response to each and every nuclear and missile provocation by North Korea. In 2016 alone, it has sent six such messages on such occasions as the Warsaw Summit.

NATO’s plan to issue a strong message to North Korea at the forthcoming meeting is seen as a tangible result of the ROK’s diplomatic activities toward NATO to seek its cooperation against the North Korean nuclear program. To specify some of such diplomatic activities, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se delivered a keynote speech at a high-level meeting of the German Atlantic Association in February and a special address at a NAC meeting in October, in which he asked the member states of NATO to render strong cooperation on and pay attention to the efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

Second Vice Foreign Minister Ahn Chong-ghee will attend the forthcoming special meeting of NAC at NATO’s invitation. At the meeting, Vice Minister Ahn will share with the other participants an assessment of the developments regarding the North Korean nuclear issue and ask the NATO members to cooperate to thoroughly implement UN Security Council Resolution 2321, which was unanimously adopted on November 30; on the EU and other major countries’ efforts to tighten unilateral sanctions; and to intensify global pressure on the North.

Going forward, the ROK government will work closely with regional and global organizations, including NATO and the EU, to toughen sanctions and to intensify pressure on North Korea.

Lastly, under the current, grave circumstance at home, the Foreign Ministry is doing its best to unswervingly implement its foreign policy, including holding a high-level meeting on a daily basis to review pending issues.

Thank you.

(A question-and-answer session followed.)

* unofficial translation