Bill Clinton photo

Exchange With Reporters in Deerfield Beach, Florida

March 21, 1994

North Korea

Q. Anything new on North Korea, Mr. President?

The President. Let me just say, about North Korea, the IAEA has made their judgment; now there will be consultations at the U.N.

I think you know—I think President Kim has confirmed that I sent him a letter at the end of last week. And we have agreed that it is in our national interest and the interest of the security of the people of South Korea and the security of our armed forces there to proceed with the Patriot deployment, so we will do that.

As to the next issues, I think we have to just wait and see what will happen. I can't say more today. We're going to have to work on this on a day-to-day basis. I will say again, I want to emphasize this decision on the Patriots is purely defensive in nature. But it is appropriate—General Luck has said he thinks it's necessary as the continuing modernization of our forces proceeds. What happens now is still in the court of the North Koreans, and we must hope that they will do the right thing.

Thank you.

NOTE: The exchange began at 12:47 p.m. at Century Village East. In his remarks, the President referred to President Kim Yong-sam of South Korea and Gen. Gary E. Luck, USA, commander, U.S. forces, Korea. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters in Deerfield Beach, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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