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`Gov`t Doing Everything for Release of S.Korean Worker, Boat`

`Gov`t Doing Everything for Release of S.Korean Worker, Boat`

Posted August. 08, 2009 08:04,   


President Lee Myung-bak said yesterday that his administration is doing everything it can for the release of a South Korean worker and fishing boat crew detained in North Korea.

At a briefing with his chief adviser for diplomatic and security affairs, President Lee said the government is fully aware of the people’s concerns and interest in the issue, his spokesman Lee Dong-kwan said.

The president also said Seoul and Washington have been exchanging information and closely cooperating on the recent release of two U.S. journalists who had been detained for 141 days in North Korea.

“Any contact between North Korea and the United States will be made through sufficient consultations between Seoul and Washington,” he was quoted as saying.

A government official also said South Korea received a message from the United States Thursday on the results of former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s visit to North Korea.

“The U.S. government explained to us that it never sent a verbal message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il,” the official said. “Details of the Clinton-Kim meeting will likely be delivered to Seoul early next week.”

The North Korean leader is said to have sent a message through Clinton that Pyongyang wants to resolve matters such as its denuclearization and missile program through bilateral talks.

Kim also urged the withdrawal of the “hostile” U.S. policy toward North Korea.

yongari@donga.com spear@donga.com