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President Roh, “Virtually No Possibility of A North Korean Collapse”

President Roh, “Virtually No Possibility of A North Korean Collapse”

Posted December. 05, 2004 23:00,   


South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun had a brief meeting with local Korean residents in Warsaw, Poland on December 4 (local time). At the meeting, the president told the Korean audience that there’s a very small possibility of the collapse of the current North Korean regime and that both South Korea and China do not want the North Korean regime to fall apart.

The president continued to explain, saying, “The Chinese government is providing assistance to the North because it will be completely out of control if a serious political crisis happens in North Korea and refugees literally pour into Chinese territory.”

“South Korea doesn’t want to see the North Korean government collapsing either because that situation would lead to a huge influx of North Korean refugees. For this reason, China and South Korea are in a kind of desperate position to help the North pursue reform and opening,” added President Roh.

In addition, he made it clear that South Korea cannot make concessions to the North all the way down the road because concession alone will not solve the whole problem, and that the South should not be in a hurry. “The whole issue came to a deadlock because the North is trying to take advantage of some weak points on the side of the South Korean government, earning some more time,” he said.

In addition, the president gave his own prediction on North Korea at the meeting, saying, “North Korea desperately needs security guarantees and economic assistance from the global community. That makes it tougher for the regime to hold on to its nuclear arsenal. Given that the North voluntarily closed military facilities in Gaeseong for the establishment of a special industrial zone there, a wise decision is expected from the North.”

President Roh finished his formal schedule in Poland as a national guest for five days (two nights and three days) and headed for France. It is reported that the presidential plane landed in France in the afternoon that day.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com