Go to contents

President Kim meets Financial Times

Posted July. 17, 2000 21:07,   


In an interview with Britain`s Financial Times on the 17th, President Kim explained that although a first brick was laid through the successful inter-Korean summit, a comprehensive unification would have to wait at least 20-30 years.

President Kim stated during the interview that the summit was made possible by North`s leader Kim Jung-Il`s accommodation of the South leader`s request and through his willingness to bend a little and allow for such historic meeting. President Kim further commented that the North`s leader was very intelligent and sharp.

As for the 50 minutes of private audience the two men shared during their transport from the Pyongyang International Airport to the place of reception, thereby causing endless speculations all around the world, President Kim simply stated that not much conversation took place in the limousine.

He added that as it was his first meeting with Kim Jong-Il, and as he could not guess at the inner mind of the man, President Kim could not speak of too many things. Moreover, as they had to lower their windows in order to wave to the gauntlet of people who had come to cheer, there really wasn`t much time for private conversation.

From the day of the Summit, the 50-minute limousine ride has become a source of various speculations all around the world and especially concerned were the opposition GNP lawmakers who called for a disclosure of the private talk which occurred during the communication and security protection-less ride.

President Kim Dae-Jung also commented that as the process of unification would be gradual and in cooperation of both sides, the cost of the unification would be greatly lower than what was required for German unification. Also, North Korea would have to adopt a market reform prior to the unification.

The interview with Financial Times was the first with foreign press for Kim Dae-Jung since his return from the North. In the upcoming week, President Kim has agreed to an interview with Los Angeles Times on the 18th and with NHK on the 19th.