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President Roh Says “Former Presidents Performed Their Duties Very Well”

President Roh Says “Former Presidents Performed Their Duties Very Well”

Posted November. 19, 2004 23:04,   


President Roh Moo-hyun will have a summit meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush in Santiago on the morning of November 30 (local time) during his official visit to Chile in order to participate in the summit meeting of APEC economic leaders. It appears that the two leaders will reaffirm North Korea’s abandonment of nuclear weapons and the principle of a peaceful resolution and agree to make a joint effort to hold the fourth six-party talk as soon as possible during the first summit meeting since President Bush’s successful re-election. President Roh will put particular emphasis on the U.S. strategic decisions regarding the guarantee of North Korea’s regime security.

Prior to this, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Gi-moon and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell met on the morning of November 19 and discussed the agenda of the summit meeting.

President Roh will also meet Chinese President Hu Jintao separately this afternoon and is supposed to request that he should play an active role in persuading North Korea to participate in the next round of six-party talks.

Meanwhile, President Roh highly praised Chile’s role in its activities as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council for 2003-2004 at the Korea-Chile summit meeting with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos in the presidential residence this morning. President Lagos expressed his intention to support South Korea in joining the Security Council as a non-permanent member for 2007-2008.

Having arrived in Santiago on the afternoon of November 18, President Roh attracted public attention by evaluating former Korean presidents positively in a familiar talk with about 100 Korean residents in Chile at the Sheraton Hotel Santiago, saying, “Former presidents made some mistakes, but they did something indispensable for national development.”

President Roh emphasized, “I considered the age of the Liberal Party as a complete dictatorship and dark era, but distributing farmlands through land reform was a really epoch-making reform and event, which changed history. Thanks to that, Korean people could be united, achieve full state independence and keep its stability and regime.”

President Roh continued by saying, “Former President Park Jeong-hee achieved industrial success despite negative appraisal due to his dictatorship, and

former Presidents Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung also performed their duties very well, beyond further explanation.”

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com