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President expresses joy at reunions

Posted August. 17, 2000 12:06,   


"Seeing the separated families meet with one another makes it worth being the president," South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung reportedly said to Chong Wa Dae Press Secretary Park Joon-Young on Wednesday morning. "Because of the alleged defections to the North or the South, many families had to suffer discrimination and live hiding and secrecy,¡± he reportedly continued.¡± The family reunions are like having them freed from social stigma." Park said that the president could not hide his joy. "I cannot but feel a bit of guilt for not finding the solution earlier for so many who have had become victims of destiny, which caused them to live separate lives," the president reportedly added.

Kim also was reported to have expressed his thanks to the North`s officials for making the reunions trouble-free. "This exchange of reunions also has greater meaning as the first step toward reconciliation," he said. "We must take this opportunity to collect our energy and prepare to take a giant leap for the future."