» 11/11/2008 SOUTH KOREA – UNITED STATES Lee Myung-bak okays Obama-Kim Jong-il summit by 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.”