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  • » 11/11/2008, 00.00

    SOUTH KOREA – UNITED STATES

    Lee Myung-bak okays Obama-Kim Jong-il summit

    Theresa Kim Hwa-young

    South Korean president stresses that such a summit could secure positive developments on the North Korean nuclear issue. Obama urges South Korean president to strengthen ties between the two countries to guarantee “peace and stability” in Asia and solve the financial crisis.
    Seoul (AsiaNews) – “I wouldn't oppose Obama's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, as long as it helps lead North Korea to abandon its nuclear program,” said South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. In addition he said that he did not fear that a summit between the United States and North Korea could “isolate South Korea.”

    Mr Lee said that the United States and South Korea would discuss the nuclear issue. Mr Obama for his part noted that he would “value the view of the Republic of Korea on inter-Korean issues.”

    The South Korean leader went on to say he too hoped to meet with the North Korean leader and wished economic prosperity and national unification for North Korea.

    “Kim,” Lee said, “will someday understand my sincerity.”

    Speaking a few days after his election Barack Obama said he wanted “stronger” South Korean-US relations, adding that it was his hope that a “stronger alliance will be a cornerstone of peace and stability in Asia” and of economic and security relations between the two countries.

    Obama and Lee had their first phone talk last Friday during which both men agreed to strengthen bilateral ties.

    The spokesman for the South Korean President Lee Dong-kwan said that the new US leader urged both countries to “closely cooperate in addressing the global financial crisis and North Korean nuclear issue.”

    For his part Lee said that the world has many challenges ahead like the credit crunch, energy, natural resources, the environment and poverty and that he wholly agreed “with President-elect Obama’s view that these are things that should be resolved through an international partnership.”

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    See also

    17/11/2008 KOREA - UNITED STATES
    Obama could have tremendous influence on relations between the two Koreas
    Experts observe that the "team" of the government that the newly elected US president is selecting appears inclined to seek joint solutions with Pyongyang, and to resolve problems with direct talks. But this could cause problems in relations with Seoul.

    22/10/2008 NORTH KOREA –JAPAN
    Pyongyang wants Japan removed from nuclear talks
    A North Korean newspaper accuses the Japanese of creating “trouble” for the six-nation nuclear talks. Tokyo wants information about its missing citizens abducted by North Korea. For South Korean president, Kim Jong-il is still in charge despite rumours about his health.

    26/07/2005 NORTH KOREA – SOUTH KOREA
    Some signs of flexibility between the United States and North Korea in Beijing
    Six-nation talks re-start in Beijing. They were interrupted in June 2004 when North Korea walked away from the negotiating table.

    20/07/2005 JAPAN – NORTH KOREA
    Tokyo to demand total nuclear power ban on Pyongyang
    Government sources say Japan will ask for a total freeze on North Korea's nuclear energy programme during six-nation talks.

    16/11/2009 SOUTH KOREA
    Koreans earnestly waiting for Obama’s historic visit
    For South Korea’s press, the US and South Korean presidents are preparing a deal to stop North Korea’s nuclear programme.



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