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Roh, Wen Unite on Yasukuni Issue

Posted December. 13, 2005 07:21,   


President Roh Moo-hyun met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on December 12 and agreed that South Korea and China would closely cooperate for the success of the six-party talks which aim to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

President Roh and Premier Wen also shared the opinion that Japanese political leaders need to take a more accurate historical view and act accordingly.

President Roh and Premier Wen, who are in Malaysia to participate in the “ASEAN +3” summit, met at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur this morning (local time).

Premier Wen stated, “The Japanese leadership has dealt an emotional blow to the people of China and South Korea by paying tribute at the Yasukuni Shrine five times, creating an obstacle in Sino-Japan and Korea-Japan relations. Whether the goal of strengthening cooperation between Korea, China, and Japan can be reached depends on the Japanese leadership.”

President Roh said, “I clearly stated three principles: no paying tribute at the Yasukuni Shrine, accurate history education, and no mentioning of the Dokdo Islet issue by Japan to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi during the Busan APEC Summit,” and Premier Wen expressed his agreement, stating, “Visits to Yasukuni Shrine and history education are also controversial issues between China and Japan.”

Regarding the six-party talks, Premier Wen said, “We must continue to make efforts to achieve desired results,” and President Roh requested, “I hope China will continue its efforts in persuading North Korea.”

In particular, President Roh requested that South Korea be allowed to participate in China’s nuclear power plant project aiming to build a 40 million kW plant within the next 15 years.

Regarding this request, Premier Wen replied, “Korean companies will be treated equally with other foreign companies, and as a neighboring nation, Korea’s participation in the project will be considered.”

The leaders of South Korea, China, and Japan are known to have met briefly in the waiting room before the ninth “ASEAN +3” Summit began at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center this day but did not hold dialogue with one another.

At the summit, the “Kuala Lumpur Joint Statement” on the vision of forming an East Asian community was adopted and each nation’s measure for cooperation was discussed broadly.

President Roh suggested the designation of an “East Asia Week” aimed at strengthening East Asia’s sense of identity and promoting cultural understanding within the region and said that Korea would expand its support in IT cooperation projects for the joint prosperity of nations participating in the summit.

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com