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Unification Minister Chung Invites Kim Jong Il to APEC in November

Unification Minister Chung Invites Kim Jong Il to APEC in November

Posted January. 30, 2005 22:49,   


On Sunday (local time), Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, participating at the World Economic Forum (Davos Forum) as President Roh Moo-hyun’s envoy, expressed his intention to invite North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to Korea in November.

On the same day, Minister Chung said in his closing speech at the Davos Forum held in Switzerland, “If North Korea participates in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit conference held in Korea in November, then the nations concerned with six-party talks will all gather together.”

Considering the fact that the heads of the countries will participate in the APEC summit conference held in Busan in November, the invitation of Kim Jong Il by Minister Chung was done in a circuitous manner. In his speech, Minister Chung said, “The APEC meeting will be an opportune time to state the vision of a new nuclear-free Korean peninsula.”

Concerning the speech, the government explained in previously released material that Minister Chung’s speech was “a proposal for the cessation of Korean Peninsula cold war Structure through the APEC.” Furthermore, the government explained that “if the concerned nations in the six-party talks, including North Korea, convene at APEC, it will contribute to the realization of northeast Asian security cooperation.”

After urging the U.S. to actively pursue North Korea to come to the nuclear negotiating table through comprehensive approach, Minister Chung repeatedly emphasized that if North Korea declares it will give up its nuclear weapons program, it will receive "comprehensive and specific aid," such as fertilizer and farming equipment, agricultural and energy cooperation to improve its agricultural infrastructure, and development of the Gaesong industrial complex.

Meanwhile, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Jong-min said on Sunday, concerning reports by certain members of the press, citing high-ranking government officials, of inviting North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to the APEC summit conference that will be held in Busan in November, that they are “far from the truth.”

Dong-Keun Keum gold@donga.com taewon_ha@donga.com