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Pres. Lee, Obama Agree on FTA Passage, NK Nukes

Posted April. 03, 2009 09:47,   


President Lee Myung-bak and U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday agree on the need for a stern and united global response and bilateral cooperation if North Korea launches a long-range ballistic missile.

In London on the sidelines of the Group of 20 financial summit, they also decided to seek mutual efforts to ratify their bilateral free trade agreement.

Presidents Lee and Obama spoke for 30 minutes at 8 a.m. local time. The two leaders reconfirmed that the North’s missile launch will violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718.

President Obama said the U.N. Security Council is preparing for another resolution on North Korea.

President Lee said, “The free trade deal is important to our two countries economically and strategically. It will eventually make a great contribution to a future-oriented Korea-U.S. relationship.”

In response, President Obama proposed developing discussion on the working level.” The two leaders reaffirmed the solidity of the bilateral alliance and decided to discuss its further development.

Both leaders will hold a summit in Washington June 16.

On the global economic crisis, they agreed that the world must cooperate with macroeconomic policies to speed up recovery, trade expansion is needed for economic recovery, and that rising protectionism must be blocked.

Both sides will also consider extending the bilateral currency swap contract worth 30 billion U.S. dollars and increasing the amount. In addition, they said they will continue cooperation on global issues such as climate change and reconstruction in Afghanistan.

CNN quoted a military official Wednesday that Pyongyang has begun injecting fuel in the rocket on the launch pad, indicating the final stage before launch.

yongari@donga.com triplets@donga.com