Go to contents

Pres. Lee: US Backs `Grand Bargain` for NK Nukes

Posted September. 30, 2009 07:08,   


President Lee Myung-bak said yesterday that the U.S. agrees with his “grand bargain” proposal to end North Korea’s nuclear program.

He said Seoul had “far-reaching and in-depth discussions with Washington” on the proposal, according to ruling Grand National Party spokeswoman Cho Yoon-sun.

“It looks like the dispute over the grand bargain exists more in (South) Korea than in the U.S. I announced the proposal based on the consultations and mutual understanding I shared with U.S. President Barack Obama in June,” President Lee told a breakfast meeting at the presidential office with members of the ruling party’s supreme council and veteran politicians.

He elaborated on the confusion and dispute between Seoul and Washington over the plan he proposed at the Group of 20 summit in Pittsburgh last week.

“Upon hearing (of my) plan for North Korea’s nuclear dismantlement in June, President Obama told me, ‘That’s a grand bargain,’” he said. “Some suggested that Seoul call it the ‘MB Initiative’ but we chose ‘grand bargain.’”

“After Seoul and Washington shared an understanding, I tried to establish a consensus through discussions on the basic plan for the grand bargain whenever I met foreign leaders.”

He said, “(South) Korea needs its own independent ideas in dealing with North Korean issues,” adding, “We must hold close consultations on our own ideas with related countries in advance and ask for their support.”

“Pyongyang must hold comprehensive talks with Seoul rather than holding dialogue on its nuclear program individually with Washington and on economic matters with Seoul.”