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Previous Administration Rushed to Achieve Results in Cash-for-Summit Case

Previous Administration Rushed to Achieve Results in Cash-for-Summit Case

Posted July. 04, 2003 21:48,   


President Roh Moo-hyun mentioned the current government’s policy toward North Korea on July 3. “Although the tenets of the current North Korea policy are basically in line with those of the previous government, the current administration has made some modifications and adjustments,” said Mr. Roh.

The president, scheduled to make his first state visit to China from July 7 to 10, had an interview with the People`s Daily, the voice of the Chinese Communist Party. During the interview, he said that the previous government’s policy towards the North could be summarized as the so-called “Sunshine Policy” or engagement policy, but the current government has changed the wording to the “Peace and Prosperity Policy.”

“The government would take gradual steps when dealing with the North based on principles, transparency and mutual respect, noting that the former government rushed to achieve results from its policy toward Pyongyang,” he said.

The president’s remarks can be interpreted that the government would adjust the pace and approach for implementing its North Korean policy resultant of the recently completed special counsel’s investigation which unveiled the Kim Dae-jung government’s secret cash payment to Pyongyang before the historic inter-Korean summit.

Regarding the North Korean nuclear issue, the president asked for China’s more active role in securing peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. “I firmly believe that, in any case, China will play a pivotal role in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and resolving the North Korean nuclear issue in a peaceful way,” said the president.

On the domestic reform front, Mr. Roh said that “Korea will continuously pursue reforms in business, finance, and labor sectors. Restructuring requires promoting transparency and fairness in the process of establishing a market economic system and meeting global economic standards.”

During the meeting with the president of the People’s Daily and reporters, the president expressed expectations for his scheduled visit to China and summit talks with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao. “I hope that my first state visit to China will serve as an opportunity to build mutual trust between the two nations and further improve bilateral relations,” said the president.

Yoo-Sung Hwang yshwang@donga.com