Administration of William J. Clinton, 1995 / July 27
dent Kim and I will pay tribute to that past strengthening our security alliance, so that a re-
and continue our work toward that future. gion too often torn apart by war knows a future
Mr. President, your great personal sacrifice of peace. We are taking historic steps to make
and single-mindedness of purpose help return trade and investment more free throughout the
democracy to your country for the first time Asia-Pacific region so that all our people know
in three decades. Since your election 21⁄2 years a future of prosperity. South Korea is and must
ago, South Korea has matched its incredible remain a vital leader in all these efforts, and
economic success with remarkable political all of this will be on our agenda today.
progress. And in so many areas, from regional Today President Kim and I will also com-
security to expanded trade, from peacekeeping memorate the foundation of our partnership
to diplomacy, you have strengthened the part- when we dedicate the Korean War Veterans
nership between our two nations. Memorial. The monument pays tribute to the
Today I reaffirm America’s pledge to stand Americans who fought side by side with South
by that partnership. Our forces will remain in Koreans in defense of their land. And it stands
Korea as long as the Korean people want them as evidence of an unshakable alliance between
there. Ultimately, the North-South dialog and our two nations, an alliance today that is strong-
the future of the Korean Peninsula are in the er than ever.
hands of the Korean people. But you will always Mr. President, we’re glad to have you with
have the support of the United States. us. Welcome back to the White House; welcome
Together we have made great progress. With back to America.
Japan, we secured an agreement from North
Korea to end its dangerous nuclear program. NOTE: The President spoke at 10:46 a.m. on the
With other Northeast Asian nations we are South Lawn at the White House.
The President’s News Conference With President Kim Yong-sam of South
July 27, 1995
President Clinton. On this day, as we remem- our Nation’s pledge to keep American forces
ber the sacrifice of those who built the great in Korea as long as they are needed and the
alliance between the United States and Korea, Korean people want them to remain.
President Kim has come back to the White President Kim and I discussed the strategy
House to look forward. In our discussions, we our nations, along with Japan, are using to con-
focused on the clear and common goals that front a new, but no less terrible, threat to his
our nations have pursued together for decades: people, North Korea’s dangerous nuclear pro-
to strengthen our alliance, to stand together gram. Already, thanks to our efforts, North
against threats to our shared ideals and interests, Korea has frozen its existing program under
and to increase the safety and prosperity of our international inspection. Today President Kim
peoples. Over the past 3 years, President Kim reaffirmed his strong support for the framework
and I have worked closely together to advance and for the understanding reached in Kuala
these goals. And in him I have found an ally Lumpur that confirmed South Korea’s central
whose courage is matched only by his commit- role in helping the North acquire less dangerous
ment to freedom. light-water reactors.
Our talks centered on the critical strategic I also told President Kim that the United
challenges facing Korea and the United States. States regards North Korea’s commitment to re-
Forty-two years have passed since the Korean sume dialog with the South as an integral com-
war ended, but for the people of South Korea ponent of the framework. President Kim ex-
the threat is present every day. Through all pressed to me his determination to enter into
these years, America’s commitment to South meaningful dialog with the North, and the
Korea has not wavered. And today I reaffirmed United States stands ready to support his efforts.
July 27 / Administration of William J. Clinton, 1995
As North Korea fulfills its nuclear commitments We share the view that improvement of rela-
and addresses other concerns, it can look for- tions between the United States and North
ward to better relations with the community of Korea should proceed in harmony and parallel
nations. with the improvement of relations between the
I emphasized to President Kim, however, that Republic of Korea and North Korea. We also
until South and North Korea negotiate a peace agreed that our two countries will cooperate
agreement, the armistice regime will remain in closely with each other in encouraging North
place. Korea to open its doors in order to ease tensions
President Kim and I also touched on a num- on the Korean Peninsula and promote peace
ber of regional and global security issues: efforts in Northeast Asia.
to ensure stability in Northeast Asia, Korea’s With regard to this issue, I noted that the
commitment to peacekeeping, and our commit- issue of establishing a permanent peace regime
ment to work together on issues facing the on the Korean Peninsula should be pursued
United Nations Security Council. through dialog between South and North Korea,
Finally, we reviewed a wide range of eco- under the principle that the issues should be
nomic issues, including APEC, and we talked resolved between the parties directly concerned.
about efforts to expand our bilateral trade. President Clinton expressed the U.S. total sup-
Korea is already our country’s sixth largest ex- port and resolve to cooperate with the Republic
port market. of Korea regarding this issue.
Korean Government supports the results of
One hour from now, the President and I will
the Geneva agreement and Kuala Lumpur
look to the past as we dedicate the new Korean
agreement. And President Clinton and I af-
War Veterans Memorial on The Mall. This
firmed that the Governments of our two coun-
monument is a long overdue reminder of what
tries, while maintaining close coordination with
Americans, fighting alongside the people of regard to the implementation of the U.S.-North
South Korea, sacrificed in the defense of free- Korean agreement, will continue to provide the
dom. Today’s meetings remind us that the peo- support needed by the Korean Peninsula Energy
ple of South Korea have built a nation truly Development Organization.
worthy of that sacrifice, the eleventh largest President Clinton and I express satisfaction
economy in the world and a thriving, vital, vi- over the fact that the economic and trade rela-
brant democracy. It is a country America is tions between our two countries have entered
proud to claim as an equal partner and ally, a mature phase in terms of the size of our
a reminder that the strength of democracy and bilateral trade, the trade balance, and bilateral
the power of a free people to pursue their own investments and should continue to develop fur-
dreams are the strongest forces on Earth. ther on a well-balanced basis. At the same time,
Let me now invite President Kim to make we reaffirmed that our two nations will further
opening remarks. expand mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation
President Kim. Today President Clinton and under the new international economic conditions
I exchanged wide-ranging views and opinions being created by the inauguration of the World
on the situation on the Korean Peninsula and Trade Organization. We also agreed that any
in Northeast Asia and agreed to further bilateral trade issues arising out of increasing
strengthen cooperation between our two coun- volumes of trade between two countries will be
tries to preserve the peace and stability of the resolved smoothly through working-level con-
President Clinton reaffirmed the United President Clinton and I concurred that our
States firm commitment to the security of the two countries need to further improve bilateral
Republic of Korea, and I supported the U.S. relations, both in terms of quality and quantity,
policy of foreign deployment, of U.S. troops to so that in the forthcoming Asia-Pacific era of
maintain peace in East Asia. President Clinton the 21st century, our two nations can assume
and I reconfirmed that maintaining and leading roles in enhancing cooperation and the
strengthening a firm, joint Korean-U.S. defense development of the Asia-Pacific region.
posture is essential to safeguarding the peace In this context, President Clinton and I
and stability not only of the Korean Peninsula agreed to coordinate closely with each other to
but also of the Northeast Asian region. ensure that the upcoming APEC summit con-
Administration of William J. Clinton, 1995 / July 27
ference in November of this year in Osaka will they would withdraw from Bosnia and that
be a success. Furthermore, we agreed that our would require us to send our troops in to help
two countries will bolster multipronged collabo- them get out, which is exactly what I said. And
ration in the United Nations and other inter- if we do it alone, if we unilaterally lift the arms
national organizations. embargo, that means that the rest of the world
We are fully satisfied with the results of our will consider that we are responsible for what
talk, which we believe will provide added mo- happens from then on, solely. And I think that
mentum to the efforts to develop the five-dec- we need to consider that.
ade-old Korean-U.S. relations forged in blood Mr. President.
further into a future-oriented partnership be-
tween allies for the next half a century. North Korea
I would like to express my appreciation once Q. Looking back to the attitude of North
again to President Clinton and the U.S. Govern- Korea in the past, despite the fact that the Kuala
ment for their warm hospitality and kindness Lumpur agreement is there for us, still we can
extended to me and my delegation. expect more difficulties coming from the North
Thank you. Korean behavior in the future. Have the two
President Clinton. Thank you. Presidents, through the meeting this time in
Washington, had a chance to discuss how to
secure Korea’s central role in the process of
Q. Mr. President, your administration said dealing with North Korea?
that if the Congress voted to lift the arms em- President Kim. Yes. In fact, we had a chance
bargo on Bosnia that that would almost guar- to mention this issue in my statement of the
antee that U.S. ground troops would have to press conference today, and also yesterday in
be sent in. The Senate voted that way yesterday my congressional speech, I mentioned this issue
by a margin that suggests you couldn’t sustain as well. We entirely support the result of the
a veto. The House looks like it’s going down Kuala Lumpur agreement. Concerning the ques-
the same road. How close are we now to having tion, our position is that between the United
to send U.S. ground troops in? And do you States and Republic of Korea, we have had very
feel this is a vote of no confidence in your full and complete agreement on our joint posi-
foreign policy? tion towards North Korea, and we are in full
President Clinton. I think it’s a vote of no and thorough accordance with each other and
confidence in the fact that the United Nations how to deal with North Korea.
did not move to do anything when Srebrenica I think that if we do our best in trying to
fell after Srebrenica had been declared a safe persuade North Korea that it is in their interest
area and the fact that the war seems to be to faithfully implement the contents of the
dragging on without resolution. But I also agreement, I think that, in fact, we can see
wouldn’t be so sure we couldn’t sustain a veto. a good result. And I firmly believe that we can
I think that depends entirely on the vigor and achieve that goal.
the strength of the response of the U.N. forces Together with that agreement, I think the fact
in Bosnia and their NATO allies. that the KEDO had its executive meeting, which
And we are working hard in that regard. I has confirmed Korea’s central role in the nuclear
have been very encouraged by what Secretary- light-water project, in addition to President Clin-
General Boutros-Ghali said yesterday, and I ton’s letter given to me, which was a letter of
have been very impressed by the determination assurance that Korea’s central role will be guar-
of President Chirac and Prime Minister Major anteed, I think, enough for us to believe that
to set up this rapid reaction force and to fight we would not be faced with major problems
back if attacked, not simply to be taken hostage. in the future negotiations. So in our position,
So we’re going to see what will happen in there is no change at all.
the days ahead. But I wouldn’t be so presump-
tive about what would happen in the Congress. Bosnia
I noted that the French Prime Minister, Mr. Q. Mr. President, there is a perception that
Juppe, said not very long ago that if—just a U.S. leadership, prestige, has really suffered
few hours ago—that if, in fact, the Congress under this devastating debacle of Bosnia. You
took this action and it became U.S. policy, that wanted to bomb—more than 21⁄2 years ago—
July 27 / Administration of William J. Clinton, 1995
heavy bombing to stop—that peacekeeping per because the U.N. didn’t do what it said it was
se, despite the humanitarian side, is a misnomer. going to do. You can’t go about the world saying
What do you think are the lessons of Bosnia? you’re going to do something and then not do
And do you think that the U.S. leadership has it.
gone down the drain? So I—that’s why I spent all that time, leading
President Clinton. No. Keep in mind, when up to the London conference and, since then,
I became President, a decision had been working with NATO to say, look, we have to
made—a decision, by the way, that I couldn’t reestablish the fact that we will have a strong—
criticize—that in the aftermath of the cold war, not just close air support but a strong air re-
the Europeans should take the lead in dealing sponse to raise the price of Serbian aggression.
with the first major security crisis on the Euro- Secondly, I strongly support the decision of the
pean Continent at the end of the cold war and French and the British to establish this Rapid
that they would do that under the umbrella of Reaction Force so that they just can’t be taking
the United Nations, that our role would be to hostages at will.
support that with airlifts of humanitarian goods But I would remind you that this was—the
and then later with enforcing a no-fly zone and question of whether a lot of people still say,
then later with enforcing the peace agreements ‘‘Well, America ought to fix it.’’ But we don’t
that the United Nations had made through the have troops on the ground now. And this dis-
use of air power. That happened when I was tribution of responsibility all grew out of a deci-
President. sion made prior to my Presidency—which I am
And we also would support this effort to some not criticizing, I say again—to try to say that,
extent from the sea as well and through enforc- okay, here’s a problem in Europe, the Euro-
ing the embargo and through putting our troops peans ought to take the lead, they would put
in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. people on the ground. We have had troops since
That was the agreement. I have been President, I would remind you,
And I still believe that, on balance, it was in Somalia, in Rwanda, in Haiti. We have not
working better than the other alternatives, con- been loath to do our job. But we have tried
sidering there was no peace to keep a lot. The to support the base commitment of the Euro-
death rate went down breathtakingly from 1992 peans there. And it has not worked. No one
to 1994, and there was a long period of time can say it has worked.
there where we had a chance to make a peace. So I decided we’re either going to do what
Then what happened—and as you know, I we said we were going to do with the U.N.
believe that a multilateral lift of the arms embar- or we’ll have to do something else. This is the
go early on would have helped us to make a last chance for UNPROFOR to survive. But I
quicker peace. I still believe that that would do believe if it can be made to work, it has
have happened. What happened was, along to- a greater chance of securing a peace and mini-
ward the end of last year—well, there was an mizing death of the Bosnians. That’s what I
agreement for a cease-fire. Then it expired. believe. And I also believe it would be a very
Since it expired, the Bosnian Serbs concluded great thing for Europe if the Europeans can
that the United Nations would not keep its com- take the lead in resolving the first post-cold-
mitments to the safe areas if it took peace- war security crisis on the European Continent.
keepers as hostages and that under the rules
of engagement in which the peacekeepers were Inter-Korean Summit
there, and given their fairly lightly armed nature, Q. When does the Korean President expect
they could be easily taken as hostages. Now, to hold inter-Korean summit meeting? And to
that happened. Mr. Clinton, what is your—[inaudible]—plan to
That, I think, when that happened and the hold the South and North Korean summit?
threat of hostage-taking and the effect of hos- President Kim. Actually, this is not an appro-
tage-taking caused Srebrenica to fall without a priate stage to discuss this issue because in
terrific response in terms of air punishment, that North Korea there isn’t still an official leader-
collapsed the support for the United Nations. ship of succession. Of course, we know that
And all of us, including the United States and there isn’t any other alternative to the leadership
NATO, who had supported it suffered in pres- than Kim Jong Il. However, we don’t know
tige, if you will, not because we didn’t win but when this inter-Korean summit meeting can take
Administration of William J. Clinton, 1995 / July 27
place, and I think it is not desirable for use able to dictate the ultimate outcome of the situ-
to discuss this issue now. I really didn’t have ation.
the opportunity to discuss this one in depth The difficulty for the United States is this:
with President Clinton specifically on the possi- We are still the world’s only superpower; people
bility of an inter-Korean summit meeting. want us to fix things or at least say we’re abso-
President Clinton. But, sir, I think the impor- lutely not involved in them. And here’s a case
tant point for me to make, on behalf of the where we decided to let someone else take the
United States, to the people of Korea is that lead in a, to be fair to them, very difficult prob-
it is still our position that the armistice will lem, but to be involved in a supporting role.
remain in effect until the Korean people them- And that, to some extent, has put our own pres-
selves reach an agreement for a permanent tige, the prestige of NATO, and the prestige
peace. And in that, our position is 100 percent of the United Nations all at risk. And because
behind the position taken by the President and we don’t have the large segment of troops on
the Government of South Korea. the ground, our ability to dictate the course
Yes. Go ahead, Brit [Brit Hume, ABC News]. of events has been more limited.
Now, having said all that, keep in mind, we
United Nations Peacekeeping are trying to work our way through, in this post-
Q. Mr. President, has this difficult experience cold-war era, sort of an uncharted field in which
that the United States has had in getting the the United States can lead the world, can be,
U.N. to do, as you put it, what it has said in effect, the repository of last resort, of respon-
it would do, shaken your confidence in the U.N. sible power, but still give others the chance and
as an institution through which the United responsibility to take the lead where they can.
States and with which the United States can So I think we have learned the hazards of
work toward its various foreign policy aims? that policy. And I think that the kinds of prob-
President Clinton. No. But I think what it lems we have had here have led us to learn
has done—let me—I would say there should things that we won’t repeat. But I would caution
be two lessons that we draw out of this as Amer- the American people that that does not mean
icans. Number one, the United Nations cannot they should give up on the U.N. The U.N. is
go to a place with a limited peacekeeping mis- doing dozens of things today that you will not
sion if there is no peace to keep, without consid- be able to show on the news tonight, Brit, for
ering what it’s going to do if it can’t fulfill its the precise reason that they are working and
original mission. That’s really been the funda- they won’t rise on the radar screen.
mental problem here. The rules of engagement So it’s important that we not throw out the
for the forces there have made them very vul- baby with the bathwater here. We need to learn
nerable to be taken hostages and, therefore, to what went wrong in Bosnia, why it didn’t work,
become the instrument in the last few months what the limits of our partnership are. But we
of Serbian aggression, Bosnian-Serbian aggres- shouldn’t give up on the United Nations, be-
sion. cause it still has great capacity to do important
The second lesson I would ask the American things.
people, all of us, to think about is, that if we Thank you very much.
determine that in various parts of the world
at the end of the cold war it is appropriate NOTE: The President’s 100th news conference
for other countries to take the lead, and they began at 1:12 p.m. in Room 450 of the Old Execu-
have troops on the ground and people at imme- tive Office Building. President Kim spoke in Ko-
diate risk and we don’t, then we have to be rean, and his remarks were translated by an inter-
willing to accept the fact that we may not be preter.