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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

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VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
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Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
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Dossier

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