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Gist of Korea-Chinese summit talks

Posted September. 07, 2000 22:07,   


President Kim Dae-Jung and his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, held 30 minutes of one-to-one talks on September 7 in New York and exchanged views on the situation on the Korean peninsula following the June 15 inter-Korean summit.

In their third exclusive meeting since Kim took office in February 1998, the leaders of the two countries spoke in an amicable atmosphere, making frequent jokes and displaying their mutual friendship. The following is the gist of their conversation:

Kim: Since the inter-Koran summit in Pyongyang, the two Koreas are proceeding with their dialogue smoothly. The inter-Korean dialogue now underway is centered around three dimensions -- the easing of tension, economic cooperation and personnel exchanges. We are engaged in the dialogue with high hopes.

Jiang: Where is a will, there is a way, so goes a Chinese proverb. I am watching the various developments on the Korean peninsula and am concerned with peace and stability there, as President Kim mentioned. In particular, I watched the emotional scenes of the reunions of families divided between the two Koreas. Despite my pressing official schedule, I have been carefully following news on the development of inter-Korean relations. I understand that President Kim`s committed efforts are behind the progress and development of the inter-Korean relationship.

Kim: I highly appreciate the fact that Korea-Chinese relations have developed steadfastly. The scheduled visit to Seoul by Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji in October is proof of the development of bilateral relations through visits and meetings between the leaders of the two countries.

Jiang: We met on many times before. But it is not easy to meet each other at the United Nations.

Kim: I am frustrated with the fact that Kim Yong-Nam, chairman of the North Korean Supreme People`s Assembly, failed to attend the current U. N. Millennium Summit and returned home.

Jiang: I heard the news yesterday. It seems to me that worldly affairs are very uncertain.

Kim: I hope that the forthcoming Asia-Europe Summit(ASEM) will be held successfully. Let`s exert a joint effort.

Jiang: I ask you to cooperate with us for the successful holding of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) to be held in Shanghai in next April.

Kim: I Hope you will give support for Korea to become chairman of the U. N. General Assembly session next year.

Jiang: I will give a positive support for it, if possible.

Kim: Please visit to Korea again.

Jiang: I am deeply impressed that Korea successfully overcame the 1997 financial crisis and has achieved economic recovery. When I visited Seoul in 1995, I inspected the Korean enterprises. At that time, I was also greatly impressed that their businesses were well managed.

Kim: Thanks.

Jiang: President looks very young.

Kim: President Jiang, you too.

(President Jiang said to Kim, Thank you (in Korean). The two leaders burst into laughter.)

Choi Young-Mook ymook@donga.com