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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
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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