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Government Controls Pace of Inter-Korean Economic Exchange Projects

Government Controls Pace of Inter-Korean Economic Exchange Projects

Posted December. 13, 2002 22:50,   


While the government urged North Korea to immediately withdraw from its decision on resuming its frozen nuclear development programs and its demand on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) removing blades and surveillance cameras from nuclear facilities, it would come up with follow-up measures to deal with the issue through close consultations with the U.S. and Japan.

The U.S. government on 12 clearly noted that it would resolve North Korea’s nuclear problem in a peaceful manner and not negotiate that issue with Pyongyang. Early this week, the North declared its resumption of the suspended nuclear facilities in Youngbyon.

The government is planning to convene a meeting of the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group(TCOG) soon or later to discuss ways to resolve the problem and at the same time will persuade Pyongyang not to go ahead with its decision through a direct channel.

A government official on 12 said, “If the nuclear problem is not resolved, it will affect major inter-Korean exchange and cooperation projects, including reconnection of the inter-Korean railroads, land route trip to the scenic Mountain Kumkang, linkage of the Kaesong industrial complex zone. And the continuity of some exchange programs with characteristics of providing aid toward the North among those projects will depend on Pyongyang’s attitude and development regarding its nuclear program issue.”

Early the day, Shawn Mccormick, spokesman of the U.S. National Security Council, said in a press conference with foreign reporters, “The international community including the U.S. is seeking ways to resolve the nuclear threat posed by Pyongyang’s pursuit of nuclear development programs through a peaceful means and the U.S. President made it clear that Washington has no intention to attack North Korea.”

The spokesman stressed, “The U.S. would not negotiate with Pyongyang to deal with the nuclear threat and breached commitment and not bargain with or offer an incentive to the communist country to persuade it to comply with signed commitment and agreements”

Meanwhile, on Dec. 11, a few hours before the North’s announcement of reactivating its frozen nuclear facilities, U.S. President Bush said in his interview with ABC, an American broadcast company, that Iraq and North Korea are posing different threats to the international community, therefore, dealing with the different threats requires different approaches.

The U.S. President said, “All the international problems do not require a possible use of force, there is also a diplomatic pressure to maintain peace in the world. That’s what the U.S. is doing on the Korean Peninsular.” The U.S. broadcast company is planning to air the interview with the President on its program “20/20” Dec. 13.

Ki-Heung Han Young-Sik Kim eligius@donga.com spear@donga.com