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Conversation on Relations at Korea-U.S. Summit

Posted June. 13, 2005 06:38,   


At his summit meeting with Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on the afternoon of June 10 (the morning of June 11, Korean time) in Washington, U.S. President George W. Bush stated, "If North Korea makes the strategic decision to renounce its nuclear programs, a `more normal relationship` between Pyongyang and Washington would ultimately be possible."

At a press conference right after the summit in Washington, Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said the above and explained that it was President Bush`s "positive expression that the North and the U.S. would have to ultimately establish relations of amity, but that Pyongyang and Washington could have `more normal relations,` which can be commonly found among nations, at the current stage, if there is progress in the nuclear issue."

Although this content is included in the "roadmap for the resolution of the nuclear issue," which the U.S. suggested to North Korea at the third round of the six-party talks in Beijing in June 2004, it is receiving the spotlight as President Bush made a remark that considers even a relationship of amity with the North in person.

The "more normal relations" that President Bush mentioned signify normalizing relations with North Korea to a level just lower than that of amity by withdrawing economic sanctions and the terrorist designation on North Korea in line with the North`s nuclear dismantlement.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the government will directly convey its message to Pyongyang through the 6/15 Unification Festival in Pyongyang (from June 14 to 17) and the inter-Korea ministerial conference (from June 21 to 24) from the leaders of Korea and the U.S. that the North could pursue "more normal relations" if it dismantles its nuclear programs.

Jung-Hun Kim Jong-Koo Yoon jnghn@donga.com jkmas@donga.com