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Lee, Hu to Speed Up N. Korea`s Denuclearization

Posted August. 26, 2008 08:13,   


President Lee Myung-bak and visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday agreed to strengthen consultation and cooperation to terminate North Korea’s nuclear program through the six-party talks.

In their summit in Seoul, they also agreed to expedite a complete and balanced implementation of the second phase of Pyongyang’s denuclearization to implement obligations agreed to under the Sept. 2005 joint statement.

Recognizing their shared commitment to mutual relations, the two leaders said they will upgrade bilateral ties to a "strategic cooperative partnership."

Their joint statement was released after their summit talks at Cheong Wa Dae.

To that end, Lee and Hu agreed to increase the frequency of visits between high-ranking officials of the two countries and launch regular dialogue between their diplomats. In addition, closer military cooperation will be sought by increasing visits and dialogue among high-ranking officials.

President Lee said in the statement that he will strive to advance reciprocal inter-Korean relations through reconciliation and cooperation. Hu also reiterated his support for peaceful reunification between the two Koreas through improved and mutually beneficial bilateral relations.

The Lee administration also said it will continuously support Beijing`s "one China" policy.

On the economy, the two leaders agreed to pursue a bilateral free trade agreement and raise two-way trade volume to 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2010.

To promote bilateral cultural exchanges and tourism, they also agreed to designate 2010 as "Visit China Year" and 2012 as "Visit Korea Year." To expand personal exchanges from six million a year, the two sides agreed to facilitate all necessary measures, including simplifying the visa process.

In addition, they agreed to help workers from both countries with legal rights and accelerate negotiations to settle their maritime boundary disputes as soon as possible.