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``U.S. Should Be Proactive In Talks With NK``

Posted July. 28, 2001 08:54,   


South Korea and the U.S. agreed yesterday that the `resumption of North-U.S. dialogue with no preconditions` is important for the South-North relationship, the North-U.S. relationship, and peace and security of the Korean peninsula. However, the two countries differed as to how to bring North Korea into the negotiating table.

President Kim Dae-Jung told the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who visited Cheong Wa Dae yesterday, that ``we encourage that the U.S. will be proactive in talks with North Korea.``

President Kim said that ``it is necessary for the U.S. to aid North Korea with confidence and to help NK in the international stage. The parallel development of the South-North relationship and the North-U.S. relationship coincides not only with the peace of the Korean peninsular but also with the U.S.` national interests.``

The U.S. Secretary of State Powell responded to President Kim saying that ``the U.S. held unofficial talks with North three times after the U.S. announced the result of the examination of the U.S. policy on North. The U.S. told North Korea that the U.S. does not want an enemy, does not need an enemy, and is not looking for an enemy. The U.S. also told that the U.S. expects the second South-North summit to be held.``

Prior to this, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Han Seung-Soo requested at the talk with the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell held in the central government building that the U.S. should make an effort for the early resumption of the North-U.S. dialogue.

However, Powell made clear that the early resumption of the North-U.S. dialogue depends on North, by saying that ``the U.S. finished the examination on the U.S. policy on North Korea and is ready to hold talks with North Korea. (If North Korea responds), the U.S. plans to hold talks without preconditions.``

South Korea and the U.S. were reported to have positively evaluated North Korea`s National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-Il`s current visit to Russia and to anticipate the time and place for resumption of the North-U.S. dialogue could be concretized after mid August when Kim Jong-Il comes back from his visit to Russia.

In relation to the food aid to North Korea, Powell said that ``regardless of the resumption of the North-U.S. dialogue, the U.S. will continue to consider the food aid as a humanitarian measurement.`` The government urged Powell for the speedy correction of the report on the human trafficking, which placed South Korea at the third level, published by the U.S. State Department. The U.S. side said that ``through the negotiation between the two countries, the U.S. will make an effort to reflect that the Korean government has made great effort to eliminate the human trafficking.`` In addition to this, the U.S. raised the issue of trade, such as alleviation of the Korean domestic market barrier to the imported automobiles, and the Korean requested that the U.S. should pay special attention to the exercise of the urgent restriction on the imports of steel from South Korea.