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U.S.: "Korea Too Indulgent on North Korea"

Posted March. 10, 2005 22:43,   


GNP and Millennium Democratic Party Representatives Park Jin and Lee Nak-yon stated on March 9 that the stance regarding North Korea in the U.S. Congress, including the Democrats, has become more aggressive recently since North Korea’s nuclear possession declaration.

At a gathering of special correspondents capping National Assembly Speaker Kim Won-ki and representatives in the Korea-U.S. Representatives` Diplomatic Commission`s visit to the United States, Representative Park said the above, adding, "I got the impression that the U.S. Congress began in earnest to discuss about what countermeasures it should come up against Pyongyang."

Representative Lee also pointed out, "Even Democrats are becoming harder on North Korea, and I thought that the Korean government`s burden of maintaining Korea-U.S. cooperation would increase."

Uri Party Representative Chung Eui-yong, however, stated that he sensed no change in U.S. North Korea policy, saying, "In talks with working-level officials in charge of the Korean Peninsula in the U.S. administration, there was no difference between Korea and the U.S. in the judgment of North Korea."

Korea-U.S. Representatives` Diplomatic Commission chairman and Uri Party representative Yoo Jae-kun said that Congressman Thomas Lantos stated, "Although the U.S. should change its thoughts and style regarding North Korea in order to solve the problem, Korea should also reconsider sheltering Pyongyang just because they are brothers."

Representative Yoo added, "Congressman Lantos said that Korea and China must stand on the U.S. side in order to reset the U.S.-Pyongyang relationship."

Upon the visit of the Korea-U.S. Representatives` Diplomatic Commission to the U.S., Korea`s National Assembly and the U.S. Congress agreed to develop the committee into an opportunity for substantial discussion between them. To illustrate, in addition to their annual conferences, they decided to let the representatives in foreign affairs and national defense committees participate by opening a special conference for them when an issue arises.

A total of 19 representatives, including National Assembly Speaker Kim, visited Mexico and the U.S. for 14 days beginning on February 25 to meet and perform representative diplomacy with Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and returned to Korea yesterday.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com