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Pyongyang sheds unusual light on 2000 inter-Korean summit i

Pyongyang sheds unusual light on 2000 inter-Korean summit i

Posted June. 13, 2017 07:15,   

Updated June. 13, 2017 07:20

Uriminzokkiri, the state-controlled news website of North Korea, introduced an article on Monday about the inter-Korean summit meeting in 2000 between then South Korean President Kim Dae-joong and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Il, with the title “And He Said There Wouldn’t Be Any Disappointment.”

“Overwhelmed by the long-cherished dream of visiting the North for the first time as well as our utmost hospitality, President Kim and his entourage appeared a little wooden,” the article recounted. “Then, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il broke the ice, quipping that he was wondering if they had a small meal for breakfast to feast on the luncheon that Pyongyang had to offer.”

Experts say that the news outlet introduced the past episode in commemoration of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration, stressing Kim Jong Il’s promise not to let down South Korea, with the intention to reflect the relations between the two Koreas, which are going through a transition period. Recently, Pyongyang is stepping up pressure against Seoul, urging it to implement the June 15 joint declaration and the October 4 declaration. It is analyzed that the North is seeking to convey the message that it is willing to reciprocate should South Korea propose a full-fledged lift on sanctions upon North Korea, instead of partial appeasement measures such as civil exchange programs.

Sung-Ha Joo zsh75@donga.com