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President Roh Says, "U.S. Sanctions to N.Korea Would Be Undesirable"

President Roh Says, "U.S. Sanctions to N.Korea Would Be Undesirable"

Posted November. 14, 2004 23:42,   


President Roh Moo-hyun, who visited Los Angeles as a mid stop-off on his round of visits to South America, emphasized on November 12 afternoon, (Korean time, November 13 in the morning), said, “When we talk about military exercise against North Korea, war is the first thing to come across South Koreans’ mind. We established today’s Korea on a lump of ash and cannot be enforced to take the risk of another war.”

President Roh said this in a luncheon speech at the St. Regis Hotel, where he was invited by the World Affairs Council of America (WAC), a civil diplomatic organization. He made his position clear by saying, “Because of this, utility as a negotiation strategy cannot help being restricted in the exercise of military power.”

President Roh said that “I believe that the Unites States, who has contributed to Korea’s democratic and economic development, will respect our position on this. We can think about a sanctions policy toward North Korea, but it will just prolong unrest and a threat. It is not a desirable solution.”

In response to this, GNP spokesperson Yim Tae-hee criticized that “now US-Korea cooperation is more important than any time, but President Roh’s statement appears that he understands North Korea’s position better than the U.S. position. He said, “We are afraid that this may have a bad impact on the US-Korea relations.”

Meanwhile, President Roh told Korean residents in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon, November 13, that “If we inject nutrition or stimulants unreasonably to our economy, there will be a side effect two or three years later. I will not take unreasonable steps to stimulate the economy.”

President Roh also said, “A growth rate of 4.5 per cent is not a problem now, but the structural estrangement between productions and consumptions is a task. Those who call the Korean economy a crisis are large corporation members with large economic power, and Korea’s current financial structure is the more robust than it has ever been. Our country continuously enjoys economic prosperity and has plenty of reserve energy for investment.”

Later that day, November 13, President Roh left Los Angeles by special plane and arrived in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, this first country in his rounds of visits to South America on the morning of November 14. President Roh will have a summit meeting with Dr. Nestor Kirchner, President of Argentina on November 15 and talk about the South American Common Market (MERCOSUR) and a propulsion issue of the free trade agreement.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com