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No change expected in Bush¡¯s North Korea Policy: President Kim

No change expected in Bush¡¯s North Korea Policy: President Kim

Posted December. 27, 2000 09:51,   


President Kim Dae-Jung said Wednesday he expects no major change in U.S. policy toward North Korea under the incoming administration of President-elect George W. Bush.

Speaking of a proposed trip to Pyongyang by President Bill Clinton, he also said, ``we can¡¯t have much hope for his visit.¡¯¡¯

In a year-end meeting with reporters at Cheong Wa Dae, the President said, ``We expect North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il to visit Seoul during the first half of next year, if possible, (in return for Kim's June visit to Pyongyang).¡¯¡¯

``We will have full consultations with the North on this matter in the New Year to finalize the date for his visit,¡¯¡¯ he added.

Referring to domestic politics, Kim said he plans to meet Lee Hoi-Chang, president of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP), and Kim Jong-Pil, honorary president of the splinter United Liberal Democrats (ULD), early next year to hear their views on state affairs.

As for the expected Cabinet reshuffle, the President asked the press withhold reporting on the matter, saying that the incumbent ministers would be unable to do their jobs if the issue is talked about too much. He said the government is exerting all its energies to carrying out restructuring of the corporate and financial sectors.

Kim also stressed that investment and restoration of public morale are vital for revitalizing the economy. Toward this end, the government will implement a system to exempt taxes on 10 percent of the amount invested for six months from January, and will offer tax incentives on investments in research and development.

In order to boost the construction industry, the government will build 50,000 rental homes from 2001 to 2003 and invest 1 trillion won in projects to improve housing conditions and repair homes in about 400 locations nationwide.