07/04/2005, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
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South Korean President optimistic about dialogue with North

At the meeting of the Advisory Council on Democratic Peaceful Unification, South Korea's President calls for mutual trust and respect.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – The President of South Korea Roh Moo-hyun said he was "optimistic" about inter-Korean dialogue. Speaking on July 1 at the 12th general meeting of the Advisory Council on Democratic Peaceful Unification, Mr Roh said that [o]ne of the most important tasks for us is to accomplish the unification of the two Koreas, which can start by having faith in one another". He also added: "We should have an attitude of keeping even a trivial promise in an effort to respect each other."

The President lamented that some people have anxiously tried to divide society by causing animosity and distrust between different groups, which should no longer be allowed.

Never the less, he expressed an optimistic vision for future inter-Korean relations, pledging to carry out promised inter-Korean projects.

"There will be a variety of ways to boost the interests of both countries in the information technology and tourism sectors once the international standoff over the North Korean nuclear program is solved," he said.

Some 18,000 new members of the advisory group attended the meeting, which took place simultaneously in 25 different places including nine overseas locations in the US, Japan and Germany.

The Seoul meeting was held at the presidential office, Chonwadae, Seoul. (TK)

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