Posted October. 10, 2009 07:50,
President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama agreed yesterday to pursue the formers "grand bargain" proposal to denuclearize North Korea under the six-party framework.
After his first summit with Hatoyama, President Lee told a joint news conference, We agreed on the necessity of a fundamental and comprehensive solution to end North Korea`s nuclear development and closely consult with parties to the six-way talks on a package deal.
Hatoyama said, I think the grand bargain, a package deal proposed by President Lee, is a very accurate and correct approach, adding, We must deal with North Koreas nuclear program in a overall and comprehensive way, and if North Korea fails to show its intent through action, we should not pursue economic cooperation.
On Pyongyangs rejection of the proposal, President Lee said, I believe North Korea will review my proposal, adding, Im confident the North will return to the six-party talks through bilateral talks with the U.S.
Turning to past Korean-Japanese animosity, Hatoyama said, Its important for each and every official in the (Japanese) government and every Japanese national to recognize the importance of the (1995 Murayama apology), adding, (But) I urge Korea to understand that we need time to gain a public consensus.
On suffrage for ethnic Korean residents in Japan, the Japanese leader said, Personally, I will actively seek to reach a conclusion on the matter, (but) we need time to gain a public consensus.
Hatoyama also said Japanese Emperor Akihito will positively review President Lee`s invitation to visit South Korea, adding, His old age and schedule should be considered, however, and there is a limit to how much the prime minister can intervene in the matter.
President Lee and Hatoyama also agreed to strengthen private economic cooperation, especially between smaller companies; launch a cultural exchange meeting as soon as possible; negotiate ways to flesh out a bilateral green partnership; collaborate in preparation for the Group of 20 summit in South Korea and the APEC summit in Japan next year; cooperate in dealing with climate change; and expand regional cooperation in Northeast Asia.
After their summit, the two leaders left for Beijing separately for the tripartite summit among South Korea, China and Japan opening today.