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North Korea extends missile test moratorium until 2003

Posted May. 04, 2001 08:58,   


Kim Jong-il, the North Korea National Defense Commission Chairman, told that a moratorium on the missile testing would last until 2003, on May 3. Chairman Kim Jong-il expressed the hold of the missile test at the summit meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, who visited Pyongyang.

The Prime Minister Persson told a press conference after meeting Kim Jong-il that North Korea will not test missiles until 2003 and North Korea government will wait and see the political situations around the Korean peninsula during this period.

This is the first time that North Korea announces the concrete period of the moratorium on the missile testing.

Persson said that Chairman Kim had not mentioned the time when he would visit Seoul, but had asked to deliver his message to President Kim Dae-jung containing his hope for the second inter-Korean summit talks.

Persson told that he would deliver Kim Jong-il’s message at summit talks with President Kim, to be held on 4th. While Persson held over the question asking whether Kim Jong-il’s visit to Seoul will be after the U.S.’s review of North Korea policy, he just said that Chairman Kim hoped the second inter-Korean summit talks.

The Swedish leader said that he had conveyed the EU’s position on human rights in North Korea, and had raised the necessity of improving the environment for operations of international NGOs in North Korea.

He added that North Korea would dispatch officials regarding the improvement of human rights in North Korea, and ongoing dialogues between North Korea and the EU would take place.

It was also first time that North Korea presented the position that they would discuss human rights issue officially with foreign countries.

Prime Minister Persson told that North Korea would send a high-level delegation to Europe this summer, assenting that the EU would support North Korea’s economic reform. He added that North Korea had expected international cooperation and support like foreign investment on industry as well as humanitarian support.

Persson and the EU delegation arrived in Seoul for the summit meeting with President Kim Dae-jung, after two-day visit to North Korea.

Kim Young-Sik spear@donga.com