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President Kim: U.S.-N.K. rapprochement near

Posted October. 12, 2000 13:11,   


President Kim Dae-Jung, saying that it is a matter of time for North Korea to establish diplomatic relations with both the United States and Japan, predicted Wednesday that their relationship will ride on a swift current late this year or early next year.

In an interview with the Yeongnam Ilbo, a Taegu-based daily, the president said that because the United States has decided to remove the North from its list of terrorism-sponsoring states and to lift economic sanctions against the communist state, it is a matter of time for the two countries to set up liaison offices in each other's capitals.

In particular, Kim expressed hope that South and North Korea would conclude a peace treaty on the soonest possible date for the prevention of war and to provide a systematic device for settling a lasting peace, noting that the national unification will require a long time.

Asked if he was willing to amend the Constitution in a manner to remove provisions considered hampering reunification, install a vice president and to introduce a parliamentary cabinet system, the president replied that for the present, he is not studying the question.