… Since this is the National Education Forum, we have so many foreign experts present and I think it is the best moment for me to make a statement in relation to the issue of security and stability in Southeast Asia. It is true that we currently have tensions in a number of regions, especially the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States of America. The US embassies in a number of countries had been closed in protection from possible threats by the terrorists. While wars are taking place in a number of places, the situation in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Northeast Asia seems to have a positive sign that deserves appreciation and encouragement.
… From here, through HE Gotaro Ogawa, the Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, please allow me to convey my support to HE Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for the courage he has taken in planning a visit to Pyongyang of North Korea for a constructive dialogue. I could recall that in 1992, or about ten years ago, when HE Watanabe was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, he had discussed this matter with me to a large extent. My recommendation then was to encourage for a dialogue and to refrain from putting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in isolation.
… So far we have had already the negotiations between DPRK and the United States of America, the top leaders of North and South Koreas. Now we are going to have a constructive dialogue between Japan and North Korea. I consider the visit of HE Prime Minister of Japan to North Korea a courageous act that has not happened before.
… Absence of negotiation would make everything difficult. As long as the negotiation between the leaders of Japan and North Korea is concerned, it is a victory already as it may reduce concern in the Korean peninsula and the Northeast Asia. I think that the acceptance for a dialogue between North Korean leader HE Kim Jong-il and Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro of Japan is a constructive gesture as well. The Royal Government and people of Cambodia have strong confidence that they will have good news from such an historical dialogue. Northeast Asia has evolved from confrontation to dialogue and cooperation and I strongly believe that only cooperation that can establish a win-win situation for all. This is no different to our national education forum that we are discussing today. We could do so because we have achieved peace and stability — the basis for development…