The Cable

Briefing Skipper: Bosworth to Pyongyang, APEC, Israel, Honduras, Xinjiang

In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of today’s briefing by Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley: Ambassador Stephen Bosworth will go to Pyongyang with a small team but no date has been set, Crowley said. "From our standpoint, the purpose will be ...

In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of today’s briefing by Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley:

  • Ambassador Stephen Bosworth will go to Pyongyang with a small team but no date has been set, Crowley said. "From our standpoint, the purpose will be to facilitate and early resumption of the six-party talks and to secure North Korea’s reaffirmation of the September 2005 joint statement of the six-party talks including verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner," he said. So that means they haven’t agreed to stand by the September 2005 agreement yet. "We are not going to reward North Korea simply for returning to the six-party talks. We will be looking to see if they are prepared to take the kinds of affirmative steps that they had previously agreed to."
  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Singapore for APEC, then she will go to the Philippines, and then back to Singapore for the U.S.-ASEAN summit. Don’t expect Clinton to meet directly with Burmese leaders at the ASEAN summit, Crowley said. "We have chosen to engage Burma. We are expecting Burma, you know, to take affirmative steps in response."
  • Special Envoy George Mitchell met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack, following up on President Obama’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mitchell also met with Netanyahu advisors Mike Herzog and Yitzhak Molcho. No progress or future travel to report. "I wouldn’t call it a new phase," Crowley said, "We’re kind of in the same phase, you know."
  • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Craig Kelly is in Tegucigalpa, trying to push forward the Honduran reconciliation agreement, which he claims is still operative. "We recognize that the only path out of this is through an electoral process where the people of Honduras get to speak and you have a new government," he said.
  • Arturo Valenzuela was sworn in as the new assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Tom Shannon had meetings Tuesday on Capitol Hill towards his confirmation as Ambassador to Brazil.
  • In relation to the Chinese executions of 9 protesters in Xinjiang province, the State Department has "urged China to ensure that the legal rights of all Chinese citizens are respected in accordance with international standards of due process," Crowley said.
  • A team from Ambassador Richard Holbrooke’s office is in Beijing for discussions with Chinese officials on both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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