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S.K. Decides on Long-term Development Plans in N.K. after Consulting with U.S.

S.K. Decides on Long-term Development Plans in N.K. after Consulting with U.S.

Posted May. 13, 2003 22:15,   


South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, currently visiting the United States, said on May 13 (Korean time) that the South would participate in offering humanitarian aid to North Korea, but that the nation would decide on a long-term development plan after close consultation with the U.S. This is in consideration of talks currently under way between the U.S. and the communist country regarding resolution of the North’s nuclear program.

During his visit to the U.N. headquarters, the President said that he would be responsive to Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s request for South Korea financing long-term U.N. plans to sustain development of North Korea, according to top presidential public relations officer Lee Hae-sung.

Lee told reporters that it would be difficult to accept the U.N. request because the U.N. and U.S. positions toward Pyongyang are different. He added that Seoul would decide on the issue after consulting with the U.S.

In a speech during a dinner meeting with the Korea Society that same day, the South Korean President said that the South and the U.N. would offer aid and support if Pyongyang gives up its nuclear projects and comes forward as a responsible member of the international society.

Earlier, meeting with financiers in New York, President Roh stressed that the future of inter-Korean relations depends on North Korea’s nuclear program and that the North should completely give attempting to develop nuclear weapons, dismantle all the nuclear materials it currently has, and receive verification from international organizations.

"I believe that regarding Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, U.S. President George W. Bush will respect South Korea, its close ally, and the opinions of its people before making any decision on the issue, though many decisions are possible," Mr. Roh said. "It cannot be accepted that the two Koreas enter into war again, so I will explain this during my summit meeting with the U.S. President."

The South Korean President arrived in Washington D.C. on the afternoon of the same day after his three day visit to New York.

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com