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Roh Blames Kim Jong-il For Sufferings of North Koreans

Posted January. 24, 2003 22:43,   


President-elect Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday, "I was a human rights attorney. That`s why I believe North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is responsible for the hardships North Korean people are undergoing now."

In an interview with CNN, Roh also stated, "I do not like North Korea for various reasons. Actually, I do not feel comfortable at all."

He added, however, "My evaluation of Kim Jong-il is one thing. But practical approach to the nuclear standoff is another. We have to talk with Kim Jong-il. It doesn`t matter whether Kim is right or wrong. We have no other means to resolve the current crisis. It is necessary, from time to time, to talk with bad guys."

"I will propose to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il even if I lose face in the eyes of my people because I value dialogue and think dialogue is the key," Roh said.

"The U.N. Security Council may discuss North Korea`s nuclear issue. Even in that case, we should recommend dialog and tell North Korea about the efforts other countries are making to resolve the nuclear standoff, I believe. It would be better than determining what sanctions we have to impose on North Korea."

At 8:30 p.m. today, CNN will air a special program titled The Korean Divide for thirty minutes, which will be based on its interview with President-elect Roh.

Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com