The Cable

Briefing Skipper

In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Friday’s briefing by Department Spokesman Ian Kelly: Kelly wouldn’t say which American officials met with North Korean nuclear negotiator Ri Gun, but a State Department officials tells The Cable Ambassador Sung Kim met ...

In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Friday’s briefing by Department Spokesman Ian Kelly:

  • Kelly wouldn’t say which American officials met with North Korean nuclear negotiator Ri Gun, but a State Department officials tells The Cable Ambassador Sung Kim met with Ri Saturday in NYC "to convey the U.S. position on denuclearization and the Six Party Talks and discuss the possibility of further talks." Kim went to San Diego Sunday for the Northeast Asian Cooperative Dialogue with principal deputy assistant secretary of defense Derek Mitchell. No decision yet on who will attend Friday’s session in NYC.
  • The State Department is now looking toward the middle of this week for a decision from Iran on exactly how and how much they might let their low enriched uranium be transferred to a third country for processing. Meanwhile, inspectors have begun checking out the Qom plant. The hopes of another meeting between Iran and the P5+1 countries by the end of the month are narrowing.
  • Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell will go to Burma, as early as next week, to meet with the junta there. "We’ve begun the dialogue, which is positive, but we are still working out exactly where we’ll go from here," said Kelly, "Nothing is confirmed at this point."
  • The U.S.-Japan relationship is not in crisis, but there are some areas where disagreements could surface, Kelly acknowledged, while not responding to statements by Japanese Foreign minister Katsuya Okada, who said there was some flexibility on how to deal with the Futenma air base in Okinawa.
  • Indian Prime Minister Monmohan Singh will come to Washington next month.
  • State wants talks in Honduras between ousted leader Manuel Zelaya and de facto leader Roberto Micheletti to resume. "There’s a sense of urgency is because the clock is ticking," Kelly said, stressing the need to prepare for November elections.

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