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President Roh “Will Comprehensively Support the North Once the Nuclear Issue is Resolved”

President Roh “Will Comprehensively Support the North Once the Nuclear Issue is Resolved”

Posted June. 15, 2004 22:12,   


President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korea National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il exchanged a verbal message to “develop the relationship between the North and the South” on June 15.

Through Lee Jong-hyuk, vice chairman of Pyongyang’s Asia Pacific Peace Committee who participated in the “international academic conference honoring the fourth anniversary of the 6/15 joint declaration” as the North Korean representative held this day at the Grand Hilton Hotel in Seoul, Chairman Kim relayed a message to President Roh to “take this current amicable flow between the North and the South to significantly develop the relationship between the two countries.”

Presidential spokesman Yoon Tae-young reported that Vice Chairman Lee visited the audience chamber in the conference hall before the start of the conference, and took out his notebook to deliver Chairman Kim’s message saying, “On behalf of Chairman Kim, I send my greetings.”

As a response, President Roh replied, “I highly value the significance of the 6/15 joint declaration between the North and South, and in the process of carrying this out, it is extremely important to maintain trust and promise between the North and South,” and emphasized, “North Korea’s nuclear issue must be resolved peacefully as soon as possible.” President Roh also sent his regards to Chairman Kim.

This is the first time that the North and South Korea summits exchanged verbal messages publicly since President Roh’s inauguration.

On the other hand, through the congratulatory address this day, President Roh was quoted as saying, “Once the North Korean nuclear issue is resolved, the joint efforts between the North and the South will become more regularized, and an encompassing as well as concrete plans are in preparation for this end,” and added, “I will actively cooperate to expand various infrastructures and improve industrial productivity that would greatly develop the economy in North Korea.” President Roh’s statement can be interpreted that he will provide a large-scale economic support to North Korea if the North Korea nuclear issue is resolved.

In addition, President Roh emphasized, “Once the North Korean nuclear issue is resolved, I will closely negotiate with neighboring countries to expand the international society’s economic cooperation towards North Korea.”

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com