The Cable

Clinton in Phuket: preview of her North Korea remarks tomorrow

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s delegation is currently in Phuket, Thailand for the ASEAN regional summit. Earlier today, Clinton signed a document marking the United States’ accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, which pledges signatories "to promote perpetual peace, everlasting amity and to cooperate in economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields," a ...

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s delegation is currently in Phuket, Thailand for the ASEAN regional summit. Earlier today, Clinton signed a document marking the United States’ accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, which pledges signatories "to promote perpetual peace, everlasting amity and to cooperate in economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields," a State Department notice said. Clinton was scheduled to have a series of bilateral meetings today with her counterparts from Russia, South Korea, China and Japan, with North Korea topping the agenda.

From her planned remarks on North Korea tomorrow, as prepared for delivery:  

  • "We do not intend to reward North Korea just for returning to the table, nor do we intend to reward them for actions they have already committed to taking and then reneged on."
  • "North Korea’s continued pursuit of its nuclear ambitions is sure to elevate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and could provoke an arms race in the region. This would serve no nation’s interests. Not ours, not Japan’s, not South Korea’s, not China’s, not Russia’s. And not, I might add, North Korea’s."
  • "In short, our approach isolates North Korea, imposes meaningful
    pressure to force changes in its behavior, and provides an alternative
    path that would serve everyone’s interests."

  • "We are also asking every country to join in demanding transparency from the North Koreans.  A recent incident involving the North Korean ship, the Kong Nam, led the United States to conduct intensive conversations with states in the region to avert North Korea’s efforts to send shipments abroad without declaring their contents.  We were pleased that the ship turned around and returned home. The bottom line is this: If North Korea intends to engage in international commerce, its vessels must conform to the terms of 1874, or find no port."

India Post-Script: Word from a member of her entourage is that the India part of the trip went extremely well. "She got an amazing reception in India — wall to wall coverage. The Clinton brand is very big. And the Indians were very receptive to more cooperation with us. … HRC was careful to highlight our similarities — both tolerant, multi-ethnic democracies." As a senator, Clinton founded the India Caucus in the U.S. Congress, and was a supporter of the U.S.-India civil nuclear deal.

While rebuffed in her efforts to persuade New Delhi to curb emissions, Clinton finalized agreements enabling U.S. manufacturers to sell nuclear technology and arms to India, including as many as 126 fighter jets. "On climate change, Evan Feigenbaum, a deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia during the Bush administration, says officials didn’t expect to win India over to the proposition that it needs to accept a cap on polluting emissions," NPR reported.

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