US won't be "carried away" by orchestra event in Pyongyang
( dpa )- US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice welcomed plans by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in Pyongyang on Tuesday but said nobody should get "carried away" about the effect the concert might have on changing the regime.
"It's a good thing that the Philharmonic is going. But the North Korean regime is still the North Korean regime," Rice said, days before she is to attend the inauguration of South Korean president- elect Lee Myung Bak in Seoul in Monday.
"I don't think we should get carried away with what listening to Dvorak is going to do in North Korea," she said, referring to composer Antonin Dvorak, whose Symphony No 9 (From the New World) is slated to be performed by the orchestra at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater.
The State Department has said Rice has no plans to attend the performance during her trip that will take her next week to China and Japan, where she will receive updates on the implementation of a February 13, 2007 nuclear disarmament agreement with North Korea.
Asked if she planned on meeting with North Korea officials while in Asia, Rice said she didn't believe "that it's something that's useful at this time or that is warranted."
The United States is still awaiting a full declaration by North Korea outlining all of its nuclear activities. North Korea says it provided the information in November, but Washington believes it is incomplete.
"There is more work to do," Rice said. "We need a complete declaration from the North Koreans."