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Roh Understands Japan’s Shock

Posted December. 17, 2004 23:00,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said he “understands the great shock that the Japanese people must feel” concerning the North Korean “fake remains of Japanese abductees” situation in an interview with Mainichi Shimbun on December 17.

Mainichi Shimbun reported that the Japanese government is accepting President Roh’s speech as “a demand for continuous caution (concerning North Korea sanctions) in the future.”

President Roh stated, “It is even possible that this occurrence is not deliberate but from an error or a mistake,” and added, “If it is an error, appropriate explanations are needed to address any misunderstandings.”

President Roh also added, “When it becomes clear that malice was involved in the situation, the Japanese government might pose sanctions.”

Regarding the North Korean summit talks with Kim Jong Il, President Roh welcomed it, saying, “Wherever, whenever, without formality,” but also added, “If we meet immediately, the nuclear problems will be on the table, but he will feel that speaking about the nuclear problems during the North and South summit talks is not advantageous.”

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com