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Kim meets with North Korean delegates

Posted July. 31, 2000 19:17,   


President Kim Dae-Jung praised and encouraged the North Korean delegates that attended the inter-Korean ministerial-level talks at Chong Wa Dae on July 31.

The delegates of both South and North Korea arrived at Chong Wa Dae around 10:50 a. m. and were received by Hwang Won-Tak, senior presidential secretary for diplomacy and national security. The five North Korean delegates and their entourage were ushered into the guest room and shook hands with President Kim, who entered shortly afterwards. Kim posed for pictures with North Korean chief delegate Jon Kum-Jin and his South Korean counterpart, Unification Minister Park Jae-Kyu.

The President inquired after the health of North Korean Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-Il and asked Jon to convey his gratitude to the North Korean leader for his warm reception during his visit to Pyongyang last month. Kim also expressed his gratitude to the North Korean delegation for working on follow-up measures to the historic June inter-Korean summit.

Noting that it would not be easy to resolve the numerous problems that have accumulated over 55 years of tension in a short period, he said that the two Koreas had nonetheless taken the crucial first steps towards reconciliation. He stressed that the two nations must concentrate their efforts on improving the relations governing the Korean peninsula with the consciousness of their common fate.

In particular, the President stated that the Korean people had suffered much in the late 19th century, as their ancestors had rejected reforms and modernization. He underlined the need for securing competitive power in the 21st century, an era of limitless competition, lest "we bring disgrace upon our ancestors and posterity." Chief North Korean delegate Jon expressed his agreement with the President¡¯s remarks.