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Kim's letter to Clinton sparks interest

Posted October. 12, 2000 13:29,   


Some possibilities concerning the content of the personalletter by Kim Jong-Il to U.S. President Bill Clinton are the North's proposal to establish an office for a communication network, which had been proposed during the 1994 Geneva Accord, the invitation of a high-ranking U.S. official to the North, and the establishment of measures to promote the normalization of diplomacy.

The speculation was based on the statement by U.S. Counselor for North Korean Affairs Wendy Sherman, stating in response to the question concerning inter-communication offices during a briefing. She said that the communication office establishment would be discussed as a part of the comprehensive issue including the normalization of relations and the establishment of diplomatic exchanges.

Based on the fact that such governmental officials tend to select their words with extreme caution, her disclosure at the briefing concerning the diplomatic exchanges hint at the great strides already made between the two states for the improvement of their relationship.

With Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's statement of her desire to visit the North prior to her retirement from the office, there is a high likelihood of the North extending such an invitation.

There also is a possibility that the North asked for international aid in launching an artificial satellite in lieu of shelving the missile development program. Such a statement had been first made to Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, soon afterward, North Korea denied the seriousness of the statement and passed it off as a joke.

Even so, the United States and the international community continued to take a measure of interest in the statement.

As the United States already has expressed and does support the North economically in lieu of the North having temporarily shelved the rocket testing program, it might be possible for North Korea to shelve the missile development program if the United States guarantees the stability of the North's system.

There also is a possibility of the North agreeing to the stationing of U.S. armed forces as a necessary balance of power in East Asian as long as the Washington does not bring up the issue of North Korea being a threat to the region.

"Our leader Kim Jong-Il is ready to agree to the transformation of the North-U.S. relationship into one of peace and friendship from being contentious and enmity as long as the U.S. guarantees the stability and the continued existence of the North Korean communist state,¡± First Vice Chairman Cho said during the State Department supper Oct. 10.

Also, there is a possibility of the North agreeing to extradite the hijackers of the Japanese Yodoho Airline plane in its bid to remove North Korea from the list of terrorist nations. For the North to be removed from the list, such a measure is mandatory and there is a consensus among the various sources that such possibility is very likely.