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Roh, Bush Agree to Modernize Alliance

Posted September. 15, 2006 03:01,   


President Roh Moo-hyun met with President George W. Bush at 11:00 a.m. (midnight Korean time) yesterday. The two leaders agreed on a “two-pronged approach” under which Korea will respect the efforts of the U.S. and the international community to abide by the UN resolution on North Korea while the two allies will work together for the resumption of the six-party talks aimed at a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear problem.

At the meeting held at the White House in Washington, they discussed additional “joint measures” for the two countries to take in order to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table. The details of the measures will be decided through working-level meetings between the two nations.

Both leaders acknowledged the need for a successful reorganization of Korea-U.S. alliance looking at security conditions on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia, and agreed in principle on the need for “modernization of alliance” to pursue future-oriented development of the alliance.

“Modernization of alliance” means realignment of roles between Korea and the U.S. to go beyond the military alliance of the Cold War era for establishment of peace in Northeast Asia.

Some government officials and scholars say that such initiative will affect the transfer of wartime operational control and the U.S. Forces Korea’s strategic flexibility to transform traditional Korea-U.S. alliance.

Ahead of the summit meeting, President Roh met with the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and said that the reorganization of Korea-U.S. alliance was being carried out smoothly toward a reasonable direction during his and President Bush’s terms in office.

Secretary of State Rice agreed with him saying that the Korea-U.S. alliance reorganization was smoothly moving towards a reasonable direction, and added that the alliance between the two countries was in a good shape.

“Various measures to entice North Korea back to the six-party talks, which will be pursued separately from the UN Security Council resolution, were discussed,” one government official said.