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Six-Way Talks Seen As Tool for Peace In Northeast Asia

Posted July. 21, 2004 22:07,   


Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and his Japanese counterpart Junichiro Koizumi held a summit talk at the Shilla Hotel on Jeju Island on Wednesday afternoon, July 21, 2004. The participants shared ideas on enhancing bilateral cooperation between Korea and Japan, and Korea and the U.S., to settle North Korea’s nuclear issue and to help the isolationist country join the international community.

The two leaders also concluded that once the nuke conundrum is resolved, the framework of six-way nuclear talks should remain as an eternal tool for promoting peace and cooperation in North-East Asia.

Koizumi said he intended to tentatively exempt Koreans who will visit Japan during the period of “The 2005 World IT (Information Technology) Exposition” which will be held in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, between March and June next year, from normal Japanese visa requirements. Roh asked for an extension of the range of visa exemptions for Koreans.

On the Iraqi issue, both sides agreed to cooperate in exchanging information on developments and participating in the rebuilding efforts in the war-stricken nation. Koizumi asked Roh to visit his country in the second half of this year. Roh answered he would positively consider the offer. “In the second half, President Roh is planning to follow a tight schedule to visit many foreign nations. We may consider a working-level visit during a weekend, “ a source from Cheong Wa Dae said.

The two leaders also shared their ideas on issues of mutual concern. The issues are as follows: concluding the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two nations, promoting relations between Korea’s Northeast Asia Committee and Japan’s East Asia Conference, and enhancing exchanges among politicians from the two nations.

The two leaders held a joint press conference and a dinner party following the summit talk. They will take a walk for about an hour around the hotel on Thursday morning to exchange ideas. Koizumi flies back home on the same day, ending his two-day visit to the southern resort island.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com