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“Extreme Distrust between North Korea and the U.S.,” Says Unification Minister Chung

“Extreme Distrust between North Korea and the U.S.,” Says Unification Minister Chung

Posted July. 05, 2005 02:28,   


Minister of Unification Chung Dong-young is said to have failed to draw an agreement on a new message to North Korea from U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and other high level officials of the U.S. administration. Chung had visited the U.S. to discuss resuming the six-party talks aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.

After his visit to the U.S. from June 30 to July 3, Chung held a press conference at the Central Government Complex in Sejongno, Seoul on Monday. Chung indicated that he was not able to ease the distrust between North Korea and the U.S., saying, “North Korea holds extreme fear and distrust towards the U.S., while the U.S. holds extreme distrust and concern towards North Korea.”

When asked if saying that Cheney listened carefully to Chung’s remarks meant he accepted the views of South Korea, Chung answered, “Not necessarily. I believe [Vice President Cheney] has a firm opinion and view of his own.”

Chung is said to have explained to Cheney and other officials about the results of his visit to North Korea last month and the major suggestion he made to North Korea during his visit.

Chung also added, “The U.S. needs to send ‘a more direct message’ by accepting North Korea as a negotiating party more clearly, and North Korea needs to accept and respect the U.S.” This appears to mean that the U.S. should either retract its “outposts of tyranny” remark or convey words of apology to that effect.

Prior to Chung’s meeting with the press, a high level official told Dong-A Ilbo in a telephone interview shortly after Chung’s U.S. visit, “In the current atmosphere, I don’t think the U.S. will retract or apologize about the ‘outposts of tyranny’ remark,” adding that there seems to be no change of perception among the U.S. hardliners towards North Korea.