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Kim, Chirac hold talks in Seoul; agree on high-tech cooperation

Kim, Chirac hold talks in Seoul; agree on high-tech cooperation

Posted October. 19, 2000 19:27,   


President Kim Dae-Jung and his French counterpart Jacques Chirac held a one-on-one summit at Chong Wa Dae Thursday afternoon. The visiting president pledged to return by 2001 Korea's old books and historical documents that the French Navy seized from the Royal Archives of Korea in 1866, presidential spokesman Park Joon-Young said.

To this end, working-level officials of the two countries are expected to reach an accord in which France will return the Korean books, including 63 with no copies now in custody of the French National Library, through exchanging cultural products, it was learned.

At the talks, President Kim expressed gratitude for the French government's support and cooperation for the Seoul effort to settle peace on the Korean peninsula and asked the French president to have France, as the chair nation of the European Union (EU), play a constructive role in promoting the establishment of diplomatic relations between North Korea and nine EU countries, so that the North advances into the international community.

The leaders of the two governments shared the view that Korea and France will form joint ventures and participate in the TGV, or the high speed train, projects in third countries, including the Beijing-Shanghai bullet railway project.

President Chirac asked for France's participation in Korea's social overhead capital (SOC) programs, specifically the bridge construction between Kadok-do, Pusan, and Kojedo. Kim responded that the government would take steps to this end through consultations with the local government concerned.

At the same time, the two leaders exchanged views on French involvement in Korea's next-generation submarine and fighter programs, the Daewoo Electronics plant in France and ways of promoting bilateral cooperation in ultra-modern industries.

Meanwhile, President Kim held a series of summit talks with visiting heads of state, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and exchanged views on the matters of mutual concern. Their separate meetings were held at the COEX Convention Center where the ASEM will be held.