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NK to pursue reform, door-opening after China: Kim

Posted January. 17, 2001 18:26,   


President Kim Dae-Jung, presiding over the first meeting of the National Security Council at Cheong Wa Dae Wednesday, laid down a three-point policy blueprint for the year, namely, promoting inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation, building a basis for peace and maintaining an airtight security posture.

Noting that North Korea appears poised to pursue a policy of reform and open-door policies modeled after China, the government said it plans to capitalize on this change in such a way as to expand inter-Korean relations and build a peace framework on the Korean peninsula.

At the same time, the government intends to further pursue plans for a Seoul visit by North Korean Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-Il, who is expected to come here earlier than expected.

At the council meeting, President Kim, noting that Pyongyang is undergoing significant changes in connection with its missile talks with the United States and the North Korean leader's visit to Beijing, stressed that the North appears to be moving toward becoming a "second China," presidential spokesman Park Joon-Young said.

Reaffirming that the North was heading toward reform and opening its doors, the President predicted that this year inter-Korean relations would make substantial progress and stressed that the government needs to keep abreast of the changes and effectively grapple with any contingencies.

President Kim, stating that inter-Korean relations should be consistently developed, went on to argue that the government should cultivate a self-reliant defense capability, on the one hand, and continue to strengthen cooperative ties with the U.S. and Japan, on the other. The nation also should endeavor to attract support for its policies aimed at inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation from the four major powers surrounding the peninsula and other members of the international community.

Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong, National Intelligence Service director Lim Dong-Won, Unification Minister Park Jae-Kyu, Foreign Affairs-Trade Minister Lee Joung-Binn, Defense Minister Cho Seong-Tae and chief presidential secretary Han Gwang-Ok also attended the council meeting.