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President Kim visits Japan

Posted September. 22, 2000 20:58,   


President Kim Dae-Jung, now on a visit to Japan, said that various tariff and non-tariff barriers between Korea and Japan should be removed in order to establish a new framework for economic cooperation. He asserted that the Korea-Japan investment pact now under discussion between the two countries should be finalized as soon as possible.

In particular, Kim stressed that Japanese investment in the materials sector should be continuously invigorated and the strategic partnership between Korea and Japan expanded.

Referring to Seoul`s economic aid to North Korea, Kim said assistance from Seoul alone is not sufficient and that aid from the United States, Japan and the international community is also necessary. In order to win this outside assistance, he noted, the improvement of relations between Pyongyang and Tokyo and Pyongyang and Washington is essential, adding that the Seoul government is doing its best in this regard.

In a meeting with Koreans and Japanese in the cultural sector, the president stated that Korea has opened its doors almost completely to Japanese culture through the three-stage liberalization policy in the past, with the exception of the broadcasting area. He added that the liberalization of this sector could be resolved with the joint hosting of the World Cup in 2002.

Disclosing that North Korean Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-Il acknowledged the necessity of the U. S. military presence in the South during his Pyongyang visit in June, President Kim said that the North Korean leader desired to improve relations with Japan and the U. S. Recalling that he told Tokyo a one-on-one meeting between the leaders of North Korea and Japan would contribute to rapprochement, he suggested that he was willing to help the Tokyo government realize such a summit with the North Korean leader.

President Kim is scheduled to leave for Atami, a hot spring resort near Tokyo, tomorrow. Kim will hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, the sixth of their kind since Kim took office, on wide-ranging problems, including bilateral cooperation to follow up on the June inter-Korean summit, means of promoting mutual economic cooperation and the question of voting rights for Korean residents in Japan.

Choi Young-Mook ymook@donga.com