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Pres. Lee Gets Message From N. Korean Leader

Posted August. 24, 2009 08:27,   


President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul yesterday received a message from North Korean leader Kim Jong Il from a visiting North Korean delegation attending the state funeral of former President Kim Dae-jung.

Led by Kim Ki Nam, a secretary of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, the six-member delegation spoke to President Lee at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae. The group arrived in Seoul Friday.

A Cheong Wa Dae official said, “President Lee held talks with the North Korean delegation as part of meetings with foreign delegates who came to Seoul to pay their respects to the former president.”

“The message from Kim Jong Il, which briefly mentions his intent to improve inter-Korean relations, will not be disclosed in accordance with the diplomatic code of conduct.”

Starting at 9:30 a.m., the meeting was the president’s first with high-ranking officials from Pyongyang since taking office.

Kim Ki Nam read Kim Jong Il’s message, which conveyed the North Korean leader’s willingness to improve inter-Korean relations, but the message had nothing on an inter-Korean summit, a Cheong Wa Dae source said.

President Lee told the delegation about Seoul’s consistent and firm policy toward Pyongyang, including resolution of the North’s nuclear program, and asked the delegation to convey his message to Kim Jong Il, presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan said.

After thanking them for visiting Seoul to attend the funeral, President Lee said, “There is nothing that cannot be solved if South and North Korea sincerely engage in dialogue.”

To this, the North Korean delegation said it was grateful for the opportunity to meet the president, and that the two Koreas will hopefully resolve all issues through mutual cooperation.