Briefing Skipper: Honolulu, Moscow, Iran, North Korea
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Monday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Hawaii and will give a "major speech" on U.S.-Asia policy before meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada about the ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Monday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Hawaii and will give a "major speech" on U.S.-Asia policy before meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada about the Futenma basing issue, which has become the focus of attention among Japan watchers lately.
- Lots of other senior travel going on. Deputy Secretary Jim Steinberg has left for Columbia and Peru. He will meet with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Undersecretary Bill Burns is going to Moscow Wednesday and Thursday to discuss bilateral issues and he "also will talk about arms control, Iran, North Korea and economic cooperation," Crowley said. On Friday, Burns will meet with his EU counterparts and also meet with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos in Madrid.
- Burns will be meeting with the EU political directors about "stuff," Crowley said, including Iran. So that’s a P5+1 meeting but without Russia and China? Well, that’s not how State wants us to look at it. "There may well be a P-5 plus one meeting coming up in the very near future as well," Crowley hinted.
- About the reported offer by Iran to do a nuclear fuel swap, Crowley said, "I think it’s really unclear to us exactly what they’ve announced… there’s no change on the ground today, as far as I know."
- Middle East Special Envoy George Mitchell was in Paris and met with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, before heading to Brussels where he met Tuesday "with the Quartet at the envoy level," Crowley said. Reports say the meetings focused on increased aid to the Palestinians.
- Crowley did some damage control on the Mitchell interview with Charlie Rose, where he suggested that the U.S. could withhold loans if Israel didn’t play ball.
- "Just to clarify this, he wasn’t signaling any, you know, particular course of action. He was simply asked a question with an historical context," Crowley said, "You know, are there sticks that are available? And I think he mentioned that this is a step that the United States has taken in the past."
- North Korean Human Rights Envoy Robert King had a bunch of meetings in Seoul, including with Korean Foreign Minister Yi Myung Hwan, National Security Advisor Kim Sung-Hwan, Unification Minister Hyun In-taek, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace Ambassador Wi Sung-lee, and Ambassador-at-Large for Human Rights Ambassador Ji-Sung Ho. He also met with North Korean defectors and will go to Tokyo next. He called the situation in North Korea "appalling."
- "To improve relations between the U.S. and North Korea will have to involve a greater respect for human rights by North Korea," King said. "That’s one of the important conditions."
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
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