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N. Korean leader to visit Seoul next spring

Posted September. 15, 2000 16:17,   


President Kim Dae-Jung disclosed on September 14 that North Korean Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-Il will visit Seoul in March or April next year.

During a reception with Hakoshima Shinichi, president of Japan's Asahi Shimbun, and his entourage at Chong Wa Dae, President Kim said that the North Korean leader's Seoul visit next March or April is under consultation between the two sides, but the timing has yet to be finalized. But he added that this has been almost established, the Japanese daily reported on September 15.

According to the reports, Kim Jong-Il conveyed his verbal message to President Kim through Kim Yong-Sun, his special envoy, during the latter's courtesy call on the president on Thursday.

The message contains the following points: The North Korean leader calls for the faithful implementation of the June 15 Inter-Korean Summit Declaration, expresses satisfaction over the smooth progress in its implementation so far, and hopes that the two leaders will discuss and agree on inter-Korean questions on the basis of the declaration.

As if President Kim has made too many concessions to Pyongyang, he answered that he thinks it is North Korea that made more concessions. Noting that the North Korean side yielded to its three major preconditions for inter-Korean rapprochement, namely, the withdrawal of the U.S. Forces in Korea from the South, accommodation of its unification formula of Koryo confederation, and the abolition of the National Security Law, the president the said South-North Korean relations would not make a progress, if the two wrangle over which side should make more concessions or lose more.

President Kim reaffirmed that the direct meeting and talks between Japanese government leader and Kim Jong-Il of the North will be effective for the improvement of the bilateral relations, the paper reported.