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Gov`t denies Kim Jong-Il coming next week

Posted February. 14, 2001 19:28,   


The government flatly denied news reports that North Korean Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-Il might visit Seoul late next week. The North Korean leader was expected to visit Seoul sometime after April. But some reports raised the possibility that Kim would advance his schedule and make a surprise visit here late next week.

According to the reports, the North Korean leader would come to Seoul around Feb. 23 and stay for about three days to hold a summit with President Kim Dae-Jung, The reports also said that National Intelligence Service director general Lim Dong-Won`s trip to Washington was aimed at explaining the Seoul government`s position on the early inter-Korean summit and enlisting the Bush administration`s support.

However, a high-ranking government official said that there is no reason for the government to rush the second South-North Korean summit or to push ahead without sufficient consultations between the two Koreas. If Kim were to come to South Korea, there would have to be full preparations for it in terms of security and protocol matters, he added.

Another related official also ruled out the possibility that Kim`s visit was imminent, noting that it would take at least a month to complete working-level preparations and that the government has not even begun the work.