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Kim, ULD chief discuss state affairs

Posted March. 16, 2001 18:27,   


President Kim Dae-Jung held talks with Kim Jong-Pil, honorary president of the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) at Cheong Wa Dae Friday to exchange views on a variety of issues, including the outcome of the recent summit between President Kim and his U.S. counterpart George W. Bush and Japan`s distortion of history in its middle school textbooks.

In a one-on-one meeting, the two political leaders reached a consensus on the need to sustain government efforts to promote inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation on the basis of a solid security posture, the traditional alliance with the United States and collaboration with Japan.

It is believed that the two leaders also discussed some politically sensitive issues such as a proposed merger between the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and its coalition partner ULD and a proposed tripartite policy alliance among the MDP, the ULD and the splinter Democratic People`s Party. The MDP-ULD merger was recently proposed by Rep. Song Sok-Chan of the ULD.

Noting that ULD President Kim had hinted Thursday during a dinner he hosted for ULD lawmakers that Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong, who also heads the ULD, would be retained in a projected cabinet reshuffle, sources in the ruling camp speculated that the two Kims may have discussed the timing and scope of the cabinet shakeup. They added that the ministerial reshuffle would be conducted next week at the earliest.

However, a high-ranking Cheong Wa Dae official said there were no discussions of a cabinet shuffle and that the two leaders likely did not raise the question at their Friday meeting.

The two Kims reportedly shared views on an alliance of their parties in the forthcoming parliamentary by-elections slated for Apr. 26, as well as in conducting parliamentary operations, finding ways of addressing ever-worsening unemployment and solving other problems related to the people`s livelihood.

The meeting was to be followed by a joint press statement on the outcome of their talks.