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Thorough measures needed for full-scale inter-Korean ties: Kim

Thorough measures needed for full-scale inter-Korean ties: Kim

Posted January. 22, 2001 17:09,   


President Kim Dae-Jung predicted Monday that relations between South and North Korea would now begin to expand to a full-scale and extensive level from what he described as an "individual" level.

Putting the state of relations in business terms, he said that if past inter-Korean ties were characterized as ``retail,¡¯¡¯ future relations would amount to ``wholesale.¡¯¡¯

Kim told a cabinet session that North Korea seems to be moving at an unprecedented clip toward reform and door-opening, a stark contrast to its past emphasis on ``Koreanized¡¯¡¯ socialism.

To cope with the changes, the government must work out thorough and precise measures, the president stressed.

He also said that the inauguration of a new administration in the United States would not change the basic framework of Seoul's North Korea policy, which highlights reconciliation and cooperation.

However, the president ordered the cabinet to actively but cautiously seek to coordinate its North Korea policy with that of the U.S., noting that Seoul and Washington need to exchange opinions on how to translate words into action.

Referring to the expected visit to Seoul by Kim Jong-Il, North Korean National Defense Commission Chairman, the president stressed that the two sides have to take sufficient advance coordination steps to ensure that the visit comes off without a hitch.

He went on to say, ``It is up to us to determine whether we succeed in meeting the expected changes in North Korea and thus ensure a bright future for both sides.¡¯¡¯

The president told the cabinet to hold necessary consultations in the course of adjusting the nation's North Korea policy and called on officials to take into account the state of public opinion.