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» 06/19/2006
SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
President Roh backs Kim Dae-jung's visit to Pyongyang
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
The proposal is made during celebrations of the historic 2000 visit. Concerns are raised about an expected North Korean missile test launch.

Gwangju (AsiaNews) – South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun said he was in favour of a visit by his predecessor, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kim Dae-jung, to Pyongyang, which is scheduled to take place this month.

For Roh, who was in Gwangju to open the celebrations of the 6th anniversary of the historic Kim, the Koreas have had many problems between them but cannot ignore the main path towards reconciliation. Former President Kim's visit to the North would be an additional contribution to the relations between the two states.

More than 700 guests attended the celebrations of the historic 2000 meeting, among them: former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung himself as well as former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

In the last few days Mr Kim's suggested visit the Communist North this month was on everybody's lips. The 2000 summit was the first since the end of the 1950-1953 Korean conflict. Technically, the two sides are still at war since no peace treaty has been signed. But for Kim the division of the Korean peninsula is a legacy of the Cold War between the two superpowers.

The two day-celebrations of the 2000 summit began on Saturday with a press conference in which everyone was urged to work to reduce tensions and favour peace and democracy in the world.

Meanwhile, concerns are growing that Pyongyang is planning to test a ballistic missile that might reach the United States. Satellite photos show launch preparations at the Musudan-ri facility in North Hamgyong province in North Korea's northeast.

Former Soviet President Gorbachev has called on North Korea to give up its nuclear programme, which is condition for the United States not to intervene against the country.

Tokyo, said Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, would take "stern" actions if Pyongyang launches a ballistic missile.


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See also
06/12/2006 NORTH KOREA - SOUTH KOREA - JAPAN
Pyongyang using an old mother to duck abduction accusations
by Pino Cazzaniga
07/20/2005 JAPAN – NORTH KOREA
Tokyo to demand total nuclear power ban on Pyongyang
04/03/2009 NORTH KOREA
North Koreans to launch rocket probably tomorrow
09/28/2006 SOUTH KOREA – JAPAN
Tokyo-Seoul, dialogue on certain conditions
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
06/17/2005 NORTH KOREA – SOUTH KOREA
"Dear leader" meets South Korean envoy

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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