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Kim hopes to sign peace accord with North before retirement

Kim hopes to sign peace accord with North before retirement

Posted September. 13, 2000 18:08,   


In a recent interview with the New York Times, President Kim Dae-Jung revealed for the first time that he hopes to complete a peace accord with North Korea prior to the end of his term in 2003. Following the U.N.

Millennium Summit, President Kim met with the New York Times on Sunday prior to his return trip to Korea. President Kim stressed that the accord must be a two-plus-two agreement, signed by both South and North Korea with the other two nations that were involved in the Korean War, the U.S. and China, playing the role of supporting nations rather than direct participants.

President Kim stated that he hoped to see smooth progress in cooperation and exchanges through the peace accord and to see North Korea become an internationally responsible nation. He added that for this to happen, the North needs to establish amicable treaties with the U.S., Europe and Japan. President Kim said that the greatest accomplishment of the inter-Korean Summit was the North`s acceptance of the view that the U.S.

presence in Korea was a necessary for the stability of the Northeast Asian region. He also stated that the North`s agreement to halt missile development in exchange for satellite launch assistance is being examined and that it would lead to the improvement of relations between the U.S. and North Korea.

President Kim reiterated that South`s policy toward the North following the inter-Korean Summit is not intended to promote immediate unification but the easing of tension and peace in the region. His current hope for the peace accord appears to be in the same vein. President Kim seems to have judged that the various factors necessary for the transformation of the current armistice into a peace settlement will be in place by around 2003.

In other words, President Kim seems to have scheduled the completion of the reforms in the four sectors by February next year, and with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il`s visit to Seoul, the president has proposed the promotion of the inter-Korean relationship as well as diplomacy with the four superpowers. By 2002, the first phase of a peace settlement could be accomplished.

However, the key lies with North Korea and how much it will cooperate. North Korea has maintained its drive to establish a treaty with the U.S and has adopted a narrow viewpoint regarding the continued easing of tension.