ROK and Inter-Korean relations
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Proposal to For Peace Zone 'Came From S.Korea'
It was the South Korean delegation that first raised the idea of establishing a special peace and cooperation zone in the West Sea and proposed defense ministers' talks on the matter during the inter-Korean summit early this month, it emerged Thursday. The matter is controversial since critics believe it will affect the integrity of the Northern Limit Line, which has functioned as the de-facto sea border between the two Koreas. Before the summit, Seoul vowed it would not raise the NLL issue first but would discuss it if the North brought it up
Pride and Ambition of the Korean Military
Oct. 1 marked the 59th anniversary of South Korea's Armed Forces Day. It commemorates the first successful repulsion of North Korean troops by the South's military past the 38th Parallel in Yangyang, Gangwon Province on Oct. 1, 1950.
Article 5, Clause 1 of South Korea's Constitution stipulates that the Republic of Korea strives to maintain world peace and disavows wars of invasion. And Clause 2 stipulates that the duty of South Korea's military is to carry out the sacred duty of guaranteeing national peace and to defend its territory while its political neutrality is observed. The pride, mission, honor and duty of the South Korean military come from this basic law.
Over the past few years, the level of morale in the South Korean military has been somewhat depressed. There were several occasions when the Korean public felt sorry for the military. The heroes who died in the West Sea battle five years ago were not able to get the proper reward and treatment from their own country. And the head of the country even referred to the military as a place where young South Koreans "rot away" for a few years.
As the scope of inter-Korean exchanges grows wider, the identity crisis within the South Korean military worsens
[Role of ROK military]
S. Korea proposes preparatory meeting with N. Korea for prime ministers' talks
South Korea has proposed that the two Koreas hold talks this month to prepare for a meeting of the prime ministers of the two states as was agreed at the second inter-Korean summit, Seoul's unification minister said Friday.
At the summit between South Korean President Roh Moo
Miss Korea Crosses Demilitarized Zone
Miss Korea 2007, Lee Ji-seon, visited the Gaeseong Industrial Complex Tuesday as a representative of South Korea's young people.
By Park Si-soo
The reigning Korean beauty queen crossed the heavily armed Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to visit a North Korean city where a variety of inter-Korean economic cooperation projects are underway.
Lee Ji-seon, Miss Korea for 2007, visited the Gaeseong Industrial Complex Tuesday as a representative of South Korea's young people.
She crossed the inter-Korean border around 9:00 a.m. by bus to participate in a ceremony at the Gaeseong industrial site. The event was organized by the Korea Land Cooperation.
Seoul Hints at Flexibility on NLL
South Korea is apparently wavering in its insistence that a planned joint fishing area in the West Sea should cover two equal areas north and south of the Northern Limit Line, which has functioned as the de facto sea border with North Korea. Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung made the potentially explosive remark at an audit of his ministry by the parliamentary Unification, Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee. Asked about the proposed joint fishing area by United New Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Hwa-young, the minister said that it could be "inappropriate" for the South to call for the joint fishing area to extend the same distance from the NLL, or consider itself entitled to a same-sized share in the fishing zone under the reciprocity principle.
The unification minister's remarks are controversial since they hint that the government may accept North Korea's perennial demand to put the joint fishing zone south of the NLL, thus effectively moving the border south, at a time when public sentiment runs high at remarks by the president and minister that the NLL is "not a border concept." The issue is up for discussion at next month's inter-Korean defense minister talks.
North Korea policy at the center of presidential campaign
Chung proposes peace via economic cooperation, Lee links economic aid to denuclearization
Former Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, the presidential candidate of the government-linked United New Democratic Party, is attempting to raise the issue of peace on the Korean Peninsula as part of his campaign ahead of the upcoming presidential election. At the core of his campaign is his proposal to bring peace to the peninsula via economic policies that are built upon inter-Korean development. This is in stark contrast to the plans of conservative, opposition Grand National Party candidate, Lee Myung-bak, whose previously announced plan, known by its nickname "Vision 3000," proposes to offer economic assistance to the North only if it abandons its nuclear programs. Differing views such as these provide an early glance at the battle to come leading up to the December 19 presidential election, with the North Korean nuclear issue at the center of the debate.
With this campaign strategy in mind, Chung visited the Gaeseong Industrial Complex on October 17. While there, he declared his vision for peace polices on the Korean Peninsula. namely the inception of a triangular economic region connecting Haeju, Gaeseong in North Korea and Incheon in South Korea. Through this program, he hopes a new era of inter-Korean growth can begin.
Students Expected to Spend $5.4 Bil. Overseas in 2008
By Yoon Ja-young
Koreans are spending billions of dollars to educate their kids overseas and their expenditure is snowballing every year, while incoming foreign students and travelers are showing no signs of any marked growth.
Koreans are expected to spend nearly 5 trillion won ($5.4 billion) on overseas education this year. This is more than 13 percent of the government's 36 trillion won education budget for next year.
Conservatives Criticize Roh Over Sea Border
By Jung Sung-ki
About 700 representatives from conservative groups Wednesday held a rally denouncing President Roh Moo-hyun's remarks last week that he does not believe the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the West Sea is a legitimate border with North Korea.
No POWs, Abduction Victims in Next Family Reunions
The 16th reunion of separated families, the first since the second inter-Korean summit, will be held at Mt. Kumgang from Oct. 17 to 22. But there will be no reunion of families of POWs or abduction victims -- known as "special-case" separated families -- during the event, it emerged Monday. It will be the first time these special-case separated families are not included. That has fueled complaints that the summit, which apparently dodged the issue, has made the situation worse for POWs and abduction victims rather than better.
Man of many roles gets his shot at number one
Chung Dong-young wins pro-government party nomination
Television anchorman, spokesman for the opposition-turned-ruling party, second-term leader of the ruling party and unification minister. The life of telegenic Chung Dong-young, who was chosen as the presidential candidate of the pro-government liberal United New Democratic Party yesterday, is filled with a host of colorful careers. His skill as an eloquent speaker and his well-groomed appearance have won him recognition, however, he has not always been as complacent as he looks. With a unique, straight-forward style, Chung could be billed as a hero of troubled times, whose fight against the establishment has now earned him the right to run for president.
Debating the truth of the maritime line
Kim Geun-sik, Professor of political science at Kyungnam University
Members of some media and certain conservative camps have commenced on an "NLL offensive" over the government's West Sea peace zone initiative. They are calling the Haeju development plan and joint fishing waters an attempt to effectively pacify the NLL, or the Northern Limit Line, and raise their voices, saying that the NLL is a territorial demarcation that should not even be a topic of discussion. But that is all nothing more than a revelation of ignorance, of an utter inability to understand new ideas by people who are slaves to ways of thinking from yesteryear.
S. Korea to independently develop advanced weaponry by 2020: Roh
President Roh Moo-hyun said Tuesday that South Korea will be able to independently develop advanced weapon systems and rank as the world's 10th-largest arms exporter by 2020.
[Arms sales] [Military balance] [Double standards]
S. Korea to tout advanced weaponry at air show
You won't see the F-22 Raptor of Lockheed Martin or the V-22 Osprey of Boeing. But you could witness the potential of the South Korean defense industry, organizers of the Seoul air show say
[Arms sales] [Military balance] [Double standards]
Ex-news anchor started Kaesong
October 16, 2007 The liberal party candidate for president was born one day after the end of the Korean War, which killed four of his brothers he never met.
Chung Dong-young, a former broadcaster, unification minister and Uri Party leader, was the fifth of nine sons. However, he grew up as a first-born.
In an interview, he said South Korean communist sympathizers killed his brothers during a fierce battle in the war, but he doesn't know how. He said the battle happened in his hometown of Sunchang in North Jeolla Province.
"During the day, our town was ROK. At night, it turned into DPRK," he said, using the abbreviations of the formal names of South Korea and North Korea, respectively. "Most of the men were killed on the same day. We still hold ancestor rituals on that day for that reason."
Chung spearheaded the construction of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and met with Kim Jong-il in 2005, suggesting South Korea would be willing to directly supply electricity to Pyongyang if North Korea gave up its nuclear weapons program.
In December 2005, he quit as unification minister to get back into politics and prepare for another run for the presidency
[Korean war events]
Seoul Seeks Talks on 'Peace Zone' in December
By Jung Sung-ki
South Korea is seeking to hold talks with North Korea in December on ways to develop the area around the disputed western maritime border into a ``peace zone'' for South Korea's big-budget investment projects, the Ministry of Unification said Monday.
Koreas to Hold Nuke Talks on Oct. 22-23
The nuclear envoys of the two Koreas will have a meeting on the provision of economic assistance to North Korea in Mt. Geungang in the North on Oct. 22-23, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Defense Minister Firm on Northern Limit Line
Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo has reportedly vowed to remain firm in his determination to defend the Northern Limit Line after President Roh Moo-hyun said last week regarding the NLL as a border between the two Koreas was a misunderstanding. "If I should ever change my position on this, I'm no longer Kim jang-soo," the minister was quoted as saying.
[NLL] [Role ROK military]
N.Korea Violated NLL 135 Times Since 2001
North Korea has crossed the Northern Limit Line 135 times since 2001, a figure fueling controversy over President Roh Moo-hyun's remarks that considering the NLL a border between North and South Korea is a misunderstanding.
? North Korea crosses the NLL 20 times a year
According to a report documenting failed attempts to build trust between the two Koreas, North Korean patrol ships have crossed the NLL 65 times and fishing boats 37 times since 2001. The documents were presented by the Defense Ministry to Grand National Party lawmaker Jin Young, a member of the National Assembly's Unification, Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee.
Modern meaning of Korea's maritime line
North and South Korea's conflicting views must be mediated by greater focus on peaceful co-existence, experts say
On October 11, President Roh Moo-hyun said that the Northern Limit Line is not a territorial demarcation and the remark is causing outcry from the conservative Grand National Party. This controversy centers on differences in understanding of the NLL's "modern meaning." Experts caution against "politicizing" the issue, pointing out that it is better to review the legal and historical meaning of the line, including the agreements reached between the two Koreas in 1992, and put greater focus on how to seek co-existence on the peninsula.
The NLL was created immediately after the signing of the armistice treaty, which halted the 1950-53 Korean War. On August 30, 1953, the line was drawn unilaterally by the United Nations Command in order to prevent the South from attacking the North with its weak naval forces. At the time, the UNC did not officially notify the North that it was drawing the line, since it thought that the move was just part of its rule of military operations.
Seoul seeks talks with Pyongyang on proposed joint fishing zone
South Korea seeks talks with North Korea in December on establishing a joint fishing zone near their disputed western sea border to follow up on their agreement at the second-ever inter-Korean summit earlier this month, Seoul officials said Monday.
The plan comes amid a renewed dispute over the Northern Limit Line (NLL), which was drawn unilaterally at the end of the three-year Korean War in 1953 by the U.S.-led U.N. command to prevent South Korean and U.N. naval forces from violating the line.
Defense boss says he will defend limit line
Controversy on sea border up as talks with North on Yellow Sea zone loom
October 15, 2007
At a tourist observation deck on Yeonpyeong Island yesterday, a soldier and his visiting girlfriend look past the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea toward North Korea. By Kim Sang-seon
An apparent rift between President Roh Moo-hyun and the military establishment over how to approach the Northern Limit Line that separates the two Koreas in the Yellow Sea seemed to widen as the defense minister has made it clear that he will fight any challenge to the line, even if it costs him his job, high-ranking military sources said yesterday.
Defense chiefs of the two Koreas are to meet in Pyongyang next month to discuss various military-related issues, including a plan to create a joint fishing zone in the Yellow Sea west of the Korean Peninsula.
"I will stand pat on the military's position of defending the NLL in the Yellow Sea to the last at the ministerial talks in Pyongyang," Seoul's Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo was quoted as saying by several military sources during a meeting with senior military staff officers on Friday.
[NLL] [Role ROK military]
South Korea rethinks line drawn in sea with North
By Jon Herskovitz
Saturday, October 13, 2007; 10:42 PM
SEOUL (Reuters) - Fresh from a summit designed to bring the two Koreas closer, South Korea's president has touched off a furious debate about the line that divides them.
President Roh Moo-hyun was upbraided by former generals, lawmakers and the media for questioning last week whether a naval border drawn at the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War counted as a legal boundary between the two states, technically still at war.
The border off the west coast called the Northern Limit Line has gone from being a contested zone for crab fisherman into a region of deadly conflict.
It was set unilaterally by U.N.-led forces at the end of the Korean War and recognized since then by the South's military as the de facto border. Pyongyang declared the line invalid in 1999.
Rash Words on the Northern Limit Line
Speaking at a meeting he hosted at Cheong Wa Dae for representatives of political parties, President Roh Moo-hyun said the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea, which has functioned as the de-facto sea border between the two Koreas, "was originally a limit line for our naval operations. Some people are calling it a 'border' these days. This is a concept that misleads the people." He added, "Under our Constitution, the territory of North Korea belongs to South Korea. In this context, calling a line in our territory a border confuses me." This is mere wordplay. Roh's remarks will lead to a claim that we cannot say that the waters south of the NLL belong to South Korea. Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung earlier said the NLL "is not a border concept" -- and, as suspected, it turn out that Roh is behind the argument.
Stop irrational debates on NLL
"It is deceiving the country to say the West Sea's Northern Limit Line (NLL) is a territorial line," said President Roh Moo-hyun the other day, and there is an uproar over his comments. The main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) has gone so far as to suggest that at the recent inter-Korean summit, Roh promised North Korean leader Kim Jong-il he would see to it the NLL was rendered insignificant. One can see how the GNP and conservative forces in general are trying to undermine the joint declaration that was adopted at the summit, but in some ways Roh brought this unnecessary controversy upon himself.
The nature of the NLL is not something that can be defined very simply. As Roh says, it is something of a line prohibiting operations that was decided by the United Nations Command in 1953 without North Korea's agreement. Furthermore, Article 3 of the Constitution says, "The territory of the Republic of Korea shall consist of the Korean peninsula and its adjacent islands." Therefore, it would be irrational to define the character of the NLL according to the concept of territory.
Blue House tries to calm worries over sea border
Retired officers, sailors' families 'shocked' by Roh's NLL remarks
October 13, 2007
Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo tries to wave reporters away as he is pressed for an opinion yesterday on President Roh Moo-hyun's remarks on the Northern Limit Line. [Joint Press Corps]
"Don't ask me questions that put me in a difficult position," Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo told reporters yesterday as he tried to duck questions about President Roh Moo-hyun's remarks that the Northern Limit Line is not part of the country's border with North Korea.
On Thursday, Roh said the sea line is a "one-sided" military division, not a territorial boundary. The remarks prompted discomfort in the military establishment and anger among family members who have had relatives killed in clashes with the North over the sea border.
Korea Univ. vs. Yonsei, Age-Old Rivalry in New Era
Students of Korea University and Yonsei University cheer at their annual sports festival on Oct. 6. This year the event ran from Oct. 4-6, and ended with Korea University winning four out of five games. / Courtesy of Park Jong-woo
By Jay E. Kim
The rivalry between Korea University and Yonsei University, the country's top two private schools, is nationally renowned. ``Ko-Yon Jeon'' according to KU, or ``Yon-Ko Jeon'' according to Yonsei, is an annual fall sports festival between the two colleges that embodies the heated rivalry.
Northern Limit Line not a Border: Roh
President Roh Moo-hyun on Thursday said the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea, which has served as the de facto sea boundary off Korea's west coast, "was originally a limit line for our naval operations." Some people are calling it a 'border' these days. This is a concept that misleads the people."
Roh was speaking at a luncheon he hosted at Cheong Wa Dae for representatives and floor leaders of political parties. The president said, "Under our Constitution, the territory of North Korea belongs to South Korea. In this context, calling a line in our territory a border confuses me." The president's remarks contradict the Defense Ministry's position that the NLL is the de-facto sea border between the two Koreas but support Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung's position that the NLL is not a border concept. Roh said Thursday, "We need to admit that the NLL was drawn unilaterally by (the U.S. and South Korea) with no bilateral agreement reached. I suppose they cite the NLL as a reason for their objection to inter-Korean economic projects. I'm proposing to delay tackling the NLL issue."
Minister Caught in Double-Speak Over N.Korea
Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung emerges from a seminar hosted by the Kwanhun Club, a gathering of senior journalists, at the Seoul Press Center on Thursday, where he confronted protest from the families of South Koreans abducted by North Korea.
Roh concludes Yellow Sea line is not a border
Northern Limit Line is one-sided and not related to territory, he says
October 12, 2007 Defining the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea as the maritime inter-Korean border is wrong, according to President Roh Moo-hyun, who said yesterday the contentious line was merely, well, a line in the water between the two Koreas for military reasons.
While presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak has called both the Military Demarcation Line and the Northern Limit Line "borders," Roh said the NLL was drawn solely for military operations in 1953. The North never accepted it, he noted, suggesting the line could be reset.
Roh's NLL Concept Prompts Fire From GNP
Kang Jae-sup, chairman of the main opposition Grand National Party, speaks at a lunch President Roh Moo-hyun, third from left, hosted at Cheong Wa Dae Thursday to brief leaders of the five major political parties on the results of the inter-Korean summit. / Yonhap
By Kim Yon-se, Yoon Won-sup
President Roh Moo-hyun said on Thursday that it was wrong to call the Northern Limit Line (NLL) a territorial line, drawing criticism from the conservative opposition Grand National Party (GNP).
``The armistice line was drawn with the agreement of all concerned parties, but the NLL was unilaterally drawn without any agreement,''Roh said in a lunch he hosted to brief leaders of the five political parties on the results of the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang last week. The NLL has served as a de facto maritime sea border in the West Sea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
In response, GNP Chairman Kang Jae-sup urged Roh to be clear-cut on the NLL
President Calls Kim Leader With Charisma
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
By Kim Yon-se
President Roh Moo-hyun Thursday called North Korean leader Kim Jong-il a leader with charisma and a firm belief in the North Korean system.
When asked about his impression of Kim during a meeting with reporters at Cheong Wa Dae, Roh said Kim's ability in conducting state affairs surprised him.
``What surprised me was that Kim was aware of state affairs in detail,'' Roh said.
He said the North Korean leader gave clear-cut answers, for instance, ``yes'' or ``no.''
He described Kim as ``unequivocal, confident, strongly convinced in the regime and thoroughly versed in state affairs.''
Roh said other North Korean leaders whom he met looked somewhat rigid.
Roh downplayed the anxiety among some critics and conservatives that the government is making ``needless'' investment in the North as the cost for unification.
``Like investments in Vietnam and China, investing in North Korea is putting money into a market,'' he said. ``It will also be beneficial for the South's economy.''
He said the 1.3 trillion won inter-Korean cooperation fund was less than 1 percent of the 199 trillion won national budget.
Mushrooms From North Korea
At the recent inter-Korean summit, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il presented South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun with four tons of mushrooms picked from Mt. Chilbo. Cheong Wa Dae passed them out to 3,800 officials. Most of them probably took and ate the mushrooms without giving them much thought. But a few days ago, one newspaper carried an article by a reporter who is a North Korean defector, describing his personal experience in picking those mushrooms. The article brought home the suffering that lies behind those mushrooms.
The writer said he was sent to Mt. Chilbo in August 2000 to pick the mushrooms as part of a group assigned to tasks that will earn foreign currency.
Kim Jong-il Should Come Here Next Time: Lee Myung-bak
Grand National Party presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak on Wednesday called on North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to come to Seoul if there is to be another inter-Korean summit. “According to the principle of reciprocity, chairman Kim should come to South Korea for the next inter-Korean summit. If I am elected, the next inter-Korean summit will be held somewhere in South Korea, if not in Seoul."
North Korea develops new missile
October 11, 2007
North Korea has developed a short-range missile that runs on solid fuel, can carry a chemical warhead and is capable of reaching Gyeonggi Province, a Grand National Party lawmaker said yesterday, citing intelligence data.
The missile, which is called a KN-2, has a range of 120 kilometers (75 miles), Kim Hak-song, a member of the National Assembly’s Defense Committee, said yesterday after analyzing intelligence data provided by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Lee Myung-bak Unveils Inter-Korean Cooperation Plans
Updated Sep.11,2007 09:45 KST
Grand National Party presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak on Monday unveiled his policies for inter-Korean economic cooperation. In a speech before the J-Global Forum 2007, Lee vowed to put investment rather than unilateral aid at the heart of inter-Korean economic cooperation. Policies include substantial measures to boost economic cooperation across the border and in Northeast Asia.
Lee said his government would establish a consultative body with the North to build an inter-Korean economic community provided Pyongyang disables its nuclear facilities this year and scraps its nuclear programs next year
Government presents mixed views on ending Korean War
International law says negotiations on peace regime should come first, followed by formal declaration
The government appears to have mixed views about holding three- or four-party talks to declare the end of the Korean War, as agreed upon during the second inter-Korean summit on October 2-4, and having discussions on a peace treaty.
An Inter-Korean Embarrassment
There is some confusion over a clause in the inter-Korean Joint Declaration that says, "The South and the North have agreed to work together to advance the matter of having the leaders of the three or four parties directly concerned to convene on the Peninsula and declare an end to the war."
S. Korea mulls organization to coordinate arms control negotiations
South Korea will consider establishing an independent organization to deal with arms control on the Korean Peninsula in accordance with development in inter-Korean relations, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday. [military balance]
Next year crucial for peace on Korean Peninsula
Timetable includes denuclearization, overall thaw in East Asia
In the wake of rapid geopolitical change on the Korean peninsula, including progress in North Korea's nuclear disarmament, reconciliatory moves in inter-Korean relations and the possibility of a peace regime, an analyst expected a change by November 2008 that would decide the fate of the Korean peninsula over the next six or seven years. If things go smoothly, the analyst said, three or four parties will declare the end of the Korean War and a formal peace treaty in July or August of next year. In September or October, North Korea and the United States are expected to establish diplomatic relations.
Budget for S-North Projects to Get Parliamentary Approval
By Yoon Ja-young
The government said it will receive parliamentary approval for funds it will raise for the South and North Korean economic cooperation projects.
Vice Finance and Economy Minister Lim Young-rok also said the inter-Korean economic cooperation plan will be set up within the capability of the current government financing. ``Most projects agreed to in the summit can be done in a commercial way by the private sector, like the special economic zone or the joint shipbuilding cooperation complex,'' Lim said. ``The government's role is limited to supporting the construction of various infrastructures,'' Lim said.
Multilateral Summit 'Would Mark Start of Peace Process'
Foreign Minister Song Min-soon on Sunday said any meeting of the parties to the Korean War to declare the war formally over after more than 50 years "is contingent on the denuclearization process" in North Korea. Commenting on a reference in last week's inter-Korean declaration to "having the leaders of the three or four parties directly concerned convene on the Peninsula and declare an end to the war" before leaving Incheon International Airport on a Europe trip, Song said, "A declaration to end the war can be made at the end of peace talks, or such a declaration itself can mark the beginning of talks on a peace formula."
Inter-Korean Agreement Draws Flak
Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung, right, answers reporters' question as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O-kyu, left, listens during a press conference at the government house in Seoul on Friday. President Roh Moo-hyun expressed confidence North Korea will abandon its nuclear weapons program after a summit with Kim Jong-Il, where the two countries pledged Thursday to finally pursue a peace treaty and end their decades-long standoff./AP
International controversy is brewing over the agreement between the two Koreas last week to work together to have the leaders of the "three or four parties" directly concerned in the Korean War to meet on the peninsula and declare a formal end to the war. And experts say there are several other expressions in the declaration that ended the inter-Korean summit which leave room for disagreement in future talks with North Korea.
Inter-Korean relations likely to accelerate following summit
National-international and military-economic components highly influential in relationship between North and South
Following a joint declaration made at the second inter-Korean summit on October 2-4, inter-Korean relations are expected to accelerate in accordance with recent progress made at the six-party nuclear talks and will likely center around these two axes with increasing momentum.
Fulfilling the promise of the summit declaration
Seo Dong-man, Professor at the Humanities and Social Science College of Sangji University
The October 4 Joint Declaration in Pyongyang, which was signed at the close of the second inter-Korean summit by South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, is composed of 2,657 Korean character sets. It differs from your usual summit document, which would outline the basic principles of what was agreed on and leave the details for side agreements and follow-up, working-level talks. In this sense it is something like a detailed discussion, a sequel to the June 15 Joint Declaration that came from the last summit, in 2000. In the first section there is no new mention of the reunification question and instead a reaffirmation of the June 15 Joint Declaration, and the second section is about coexistence and nonintervention, also instead of reunification. The fifth and sixth sections, therefore, are the itemized contents that discuss rail and highway construction and repair, shipbuilding cooperation and Mount Baekdu tourism, which are about the "balanced development of the Korean people's economy" defined by the June 15 Joint Declaration.
S. Korea kicks off postponed military drill after summit
South Korea began an annual military exercise on Monday, which had been delayed due to the inter-Korean summit, the Defense Ministry said.
South Korea initially planned to hold the the Hwarang Exercise, aimed at fostering an integrated civil-government-military defense posture, in August together with the the Ulchi Focus Lens (UFL), a South Korea-U.S. computerized command-and-control exercise.
But it postponed the training until after the summit to avoid distracting the leaders of the two Koreas.
"The corps-level Hwarang Exercise will be held this week and next week in Seoul, nearby Gyeonggi province, and some other provincial regions," Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-gi said.
[Joint US military] [Military balance]
Summit could help or hurt presidential candidates
Liberals are expected to play up the summit's positive points while conservatives are downplaying its impact
How will the results of the second inter-Korean summit impact the December 19 presidential election? Mixed reactions from political experts and politicians indicate that only time will tell, as candidates from both parties contemplate how and how much the summit issue should factor into their individual campaigns as they gear up for the final two months of the race.
North Korea's dual perspective on reform and openness
Talking to the nation for the first time since his return from the Pyongyang summit, President Roh Moo-hyun said the summit had accomplished so much that it was "hard to fit everything in the wrapping cloth (bojagi) we took with us in order to bring it all back" to Seoul. Indeed, most of the contents of the joint declaration were things that had been proposed by the South, and they include almost all of the things people in and close to the government have long talked about. What this means is that North Korea made some agonizing decisions, something that indicates that you can expect even bigger changes to come in inter-Korean relations.
It would be wrong to interpret the North's serious decisions as being exclusively tactical. Granted, there is room to assume it is going on the offensive to somewhat pacify the stance of the international community towards it and get the South to continue its support. As you can see in the summit and the most recent round of six party talks, however, the North's attitude goes much farther than that, because it appears to be ready to look toward resolving the nuclear issue and fundamentally changing the framework of inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korean relations so as to build the new basis it needs for survival and economic development. It is moving closer to that "strategic decision." The South's proposal about a peace regime, a military agenda, and a model for economic cooperation where both sides prosper will contribute to more decisions on the part of the North. And it goes without saying that the process advances reunification.
N. Korean leader refuses to cooperate on abduction, POW issues: Cheong Wa Dae
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun urged his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-il, to help resolve the issue of South Korean abductees and prisoners of war living in the North during their summit talks in Pyongyang on Wednesday, but Kim's reaction was negative, Roh's office Cheong Wa Dae said Friday.
"Roh and the South Korean delegation openly raised the abduction and POW issues at the summit talks, but only confirmed a wide gap in perception," said Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Cheon Ho-seon.
"But the government won't give up the abduction and POW issues, and will continue to raise them at the upcoming inter-Korean prime ministerial talks scheduled for November in Seoul," said Cheon.
Cheon also commented on the growing public criticism that the inter-Korean agreement on the creation of a special peace zone in the West Sea could lead to the nullification of two Koreas' disputed maritime border, or the Northern Limit Line (NLL).
Roh was rebuffed by Kim on DMZ pullout plan
October 06, 2007
Left: Maritime Minister Kang Moo-hyun yesterday discusses a series of economic cooperation projects to take place between the two Koreas in the Yellow Sea.
During the inter-Korean summit concluded this week, North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il declined a proposal by President Roh Moo-hyun to withdraw all military forces from inside the Demilitarized Zone, a South Korean official said yesterday.
"The issue was off the table as Chairman Kim Jong-il said that it was too early to discuss it," Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo told reporters.
Before leaving for Pyongyang, a senior government official told the JoongAng Ilbo that the Roh administration would propose removing the guard posts inside the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone as part of the summit agenda.
According to the defense minister, Roh did propose removing the guard posts of both Koreas and withdrawing heavy weapons from the zone as tension-reducing measures. Roh wanted to see the area become a "peace zone," the defense minister said.
Two Straight-Talking Leaders Show Their Stuff
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, left, and President Roh Moo-hyun had a candid exchange over ways to improve the relations between the two countries in their three-day talks. / Joint Press Coprs
By Kim Tong-hyung
Reporters are always hungry for quotes and President Roh Moo-hyun quite often gives them a full-blown course meal. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has never been known to be shy in speaking his mind either.
The two straight-talking Korean leaders produced a healthy dose of verbal material for journalists during their three-day talks in Pyongyang, which ended Thursday with a joint declaration calling for a peace deal and closer economic ties on the Korean Peninsula.
The statement calls for a meeting to discuss a formal peace treaty between the two countries, which remain technically at war, and agrees to start a cross-border cargo rail service for the first time since 1948.
Roh once again displayed his crowd-pleasing flair during the formal talks, while his counterpart Kim matched Roh with his unpredictability and sarcastic humor.
The president gave a massive package of gifts to his North Korean counterpart ahead of Wednesday's talks at Pyongyang's Baekhwan State Guest House, which included expensive lacquer-ware, ceramic works and a stack of DVDs featuring South Korean movies and television dramas.
Roh didn't miss the opportunity to boast about the South's bullish movie industry, delivering compliments on the visual qualities of the films which drew a simple ``thank you'' from the host.
Kim had prepared a surprise of his own. At the start of the second session of the talks, Kim, clearly in a celebratory mood, sprung an offer to Roh to stay an extra day in Pyongyang.
The wide-eyed Roh, clearly taken off guard, wasn't ready to respond immediately to the invitation and said he will consult the matter with his political and protocol advisers.
Kim didn't miss the moment's chance to squeeze in this playful taunt, ``Can't the president make the decision?''
Defense Minister Dismisses NLL Concerns
Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo
By Yoon Won-sup
Defense Minster Kim Jang-soo said one of the achievements of the inter-Korean summit regarding military matters is that the maritime borderline in the West Sea will remain intact.
``Protecting the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the West Sea is an accomplishment (of the summit),'' Kim told reporters. ``The envisioned joint fishing area is a process enabling peace to take root.''
Kim Jong Il Signs together with Roh Moo Hyun Declaration for Development of North-South Relations and Peace and Prosperity
Pyongyang, October 4 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il together with south Korean President Roh Moo Hyun signed the Declaration for the Development of North-South Relations and Peace and Prosperity Thursday.
Present there were Kim Yong Il, premier of the Cabinet, Kim Il Chol, minister of the People's Armed Forces, and Kim Yang Gon, department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.
Also on hand were Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O Gyu, Minister of Unification Ri Jae Jong, Director of the National Intelligence Service Kim Man Bok and Chief for Unification, Diplomatic and Security Polices of Chongwadae Paek Jong Chon.
Kim Jong Il together with Roh Moo Hyun inked the Declaration for the Development of North-South Relations and Peace and Prosperity and exchanged its texts.
Kim Jong Il toasted with Roh Moo Hyun before having a photograph taken.
The declaration is the precious fruition of the meeting of the top leaders of the north and the south and the summit talks as it reflects the desire and will of all Koreans to accomplish the sacred cause of reunification and build a rich and powerful country by the concerted efforts of the nation.
Declaration for Development of North-South Relations and Peace and Prosperity
Pyongyang, October 4 (KCNA) -- A declaration for the development of north-south relations and peace and prosperity was made public in Pyongyang Thursday.
The declaration is as follows:
Kim Jong Il Hosts Luncheon in Honor of Roh Moo Hyun
Pyongyang, October 4 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il hosted a luncheon in honor of President Roh Moo Hyun and his wife Thursday.
Present there on invitation were Roh Moo Hyun and his wife, Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O Gyu, Minister of Science and Technology Kim U Sik, Minister of Unification Ri Jae Jong, Minister of National Defence Kim Jang Su, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Im Sang Gyu, Minister of Health and Welfare Pyon Jae Jin, Director of the National Intelligence Service Kim Man Bok and other suite members.
Kim Yong Nam and Roh Moo Hyun Plant Tree
Pyongyang, October 4 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, and south Korean President Roh Moo Hyun had a commemoration tree-planting at the Central Botanical Garden on Oct. 4.
Prior to it, the participants heard an explanation about a pine tree brought from the area of the south side.
Kim Yong Nam and Roh Moo Hyun planted the tree.
At the end of the tree planting, the participants had a photo session.
Roh Moo Hyun Visits West Sea Barrage
Pyongyang, October 4 (KCNA) -- South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun and his party visited the West Sea Barrage Thursday.
They watched a video dealing with the construction of the barrage before mounting the observation platform to take a bird's-eye view of the barrage.
At the end of the visit Roh Moo Hyun wrote letters "People are great" in the visitor's book.
On the same day they visited the Phyonghwa General Motor Works.
[FDI] [Inter-Korean business]
President Roh Moo Hyun Leaves Pyongyang
Pyongyang, October 4 (KCNA) -- President Roh Moo Hyun left Pyongyang today after winding up his visit to it.
Leaving together with him were Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O Gyu, Minister of Science and Technology Kim U Sik, Minister of Unification Ri Jae Jong, Minister of National Defence Kim Jang Su, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Im Sang Gyu, Minister of Health and Welfare Pyon Jae Jin, Director of the National Intelligence Service Kim Man Bok and other suite members and reporters from the south side.
Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Choe Thae Bok, chairman of the SPA, Yang Hyong Sop, vice-president of the SPA Presidium, Kim Yong Dae, chairman of the Central Committee of the Korean Social Democratic Party, leading officials of the armed forces and power organs, working people's organizations, ministries and national institutions saw President Roh Moo Hyun and his party off on the road in front of the People's Palace of Culture.
Women workers presented bouquets to Roh Moo Hyun and his wife.
Kim Yong Nam said goodbye to Roh Moo Hyun.
A motorcade carrying Roh Moo Hyun and his party was given a warm send-off by Pyongyangites in streets of the capital.
US, China Invited for Korean Peace Treaty
President Roh Moo-hyun, left, and North Korean leader KimJong-il hold hands at the Baekhwawon State Guesthouse in Pyongyang, Thursday after signing the Joint Declaration forAdvancing Inter-Korean Relations and Peace and Prosperity. / Joint Press Corps
Joint Declaration Calls for Creating New Economic Zone in NK
Joint Press Corps, Kim Yon-se and Yoon Won-sup
PYONGYANG _ Leaders of the two Koreas Thursday invited the United States and China to sign a Korean peace treaty to end the Korean War and pledged to support the ongoing denucleraization six-party talks.
The agreement is contained in a joint declaration President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il signed at the conclusion of their three-day summit here, which includes comprehensive agreements on establishing peace and promoting economic cooperation.
Korea Deal Tests North's Commitment: Media
Published: October 5, 2007
Filed at 2:14 a.m. ET
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean media questioned on Friday whether the two Koreas' summit pledge to seek a formal end to their 1950-53 war could be realized given Pyongyang's record of broken promises.
The ambition was spelled out by South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in a joint statement signed in Pyongyang on Thursday at the end of a three-day summit.
"If it gets implemented properly, the declaration carries points that would decisively take down the wall of distrust and confrontation over the 60 years of division," the mainstream JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said in an editorial.
The joint statement also spells out plans for expanding tourism, meetings for families separated by the border across the Korean peninsula and for setting up the first regular train service since the Korean War.
It also called for new investment by the South to develop a port in the impoverished North and joint fishing grounds in disputed waters.
"The problem is how much of it can be implemented," the JoongAng Ilbo said.
Opinion polls showed the summit boosted the approval rating for the unpopular Roh, who has five months left in office.
Korean Summit Results Exceed Low Expectations
By NORIMITSU ONISHI
Published: October 5, 2007
SEOUL, South Korea, Oct. 4 - Expectations for what could be achieved at the first summit meeting between the Koreas in seven years had been low. Worries that South Korea's president, Roh Moo-hyun, a lame duck criticized for being soft on the North, would give away too much had been high.
But a declaration signed Thursday by Mr. Roh and the North's leader, Kim Jong-il, contained a number of specific projects that could build closer economic and security ties between the Koreas, experts said. The North, in turn, appeared to have made some modest, though important, concessions to the South.
The more difficult step of actually carrying out the projects with the North - whose leadership, Mr. Roh said, still does not trust the South - lies ahead. But if the declaration was a confirmation of the South's engagement with the North, a policy set in place during the first such meeting in 2000, it also laid out a road map for the next, likely conservative, administration here in Seoul after presidential elections scheduled for Dec. 19.
Oct. 4 Declaration Must be Thoroughly Examined
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il signed a declaration on Thursday. Its characteristic of the declaration is the long list of aid to North Korea promised by South Korea, whose president, with essentially two months left in office, will not be able to live up to it. The list of aid, which does not clarify when and how it will be delivered, is actually a long and expensive list of obligations that will fall on the shoulders of the next president and the South Korean public.
How Will the Inter-Korean Summit Impact the Elections?
North Korean anchor announced the declaration signed by President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il at the inter-Korean summit in the earliest news program of Chosun Choongang TV on Thursday at 5:00 p.m./Yonhap
With President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il signing the 2007 Joint Declaration on Thursday, various meetings between the two Koreas are lined up. The Dec. 19 presidential elections in South Korea are just around the corner, making it likely that the results of the inter-Korean summit will become embroiled in political controversy.
In November, the first meeting between the prime ministers of the two Koreas will be held in Seoul, while defense ministerial talks will take place in Pyongyang. Ministerial talks and meetings between economic cooperation committees and lawmakers are also possible in the near future.
The resumption of defense ministerial talks after an interval of seven years will tackle controversial issues such as forming a joint fishing area along the Northern Limit Line and security guarantees.
Roh, Kim aim at ensuring continuity of Pyongyang Declaration
Agreement is more comprehensive than anticipated and sets up specific measures for inter-Korean cooperation
A joint declaration, signed by South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il at the North's state guest house on October 4, was more comprehensive and specific than originally expected. One expert said he was greatly surprised at the result of the summit.
Under the principle of mutual respect, the 2007 Joint Declaration calls for South and North Korea to push for the prosperity of their people through "a virtuous cycle of peace and economic cooperation."
Unlike a conventional summit agreement, the joint declaration contains quite a number of specific measures. In general, a summit meeting deals with principles, while specific measures are handled by low-level meetings.
With the conclusion of President Roh's single term only months away, the two leaders might have agreed on the details in order to ensure the continuity of inter-Korean cooperation through the next administration. In a bid to ensure the agreement will be carried out amid the atmosphere of the South's turbulent political scene, the joint declaration specifies a wide range of measures, including prime ministerial meetings, deputy prime ministerial meetings and a joint economic committee.
Epochal landmark for peace and prosperity
Jong-seok Lee, Former Unification Minister and Senior Researcher, Sejong Institute
North and South Korea have built the milestone they needed to establish peace and move forward to joint prosperity.
The declaration the two leaders issued at the summit opens the way to reducing the security threat that has remained as a factor for instability despite the further development of a cooperative and reconciliatory relationship since the declaration from the last summit, and to facilitating substantial common prosperity. In particular it provides something that can be worked with to resolve the major issues that our government has continuously raised with the North, for having become issues of public discussion within South Korean society and regarding concerns that should be resolved or directions that should be taken in the areas of peace and economics. The summit declaration creates an important basis for the further development of inter-Korean relations.
N. Korea's Rodong Sinmun extensively covers Roh's visit
North Korea's major newspapers are giving extensive coverage of South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun's ongoing summit trip, with the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the (North's) Korea Workers' Party Central Committee, front-paging his arrival in Pyongyang on Tuesday.
Summit reactions fall along political lines
October 05, 2007 The news that South and North Korea are committed to establishing a peace regime on the peninsula and finally ending the Korean War, lent an air of relief and cautious optimism to an inter-Korean summit that seemed fraught with uncertainty just a week ago.
Coupled with Wednesday's announcement from Beijing of an implementation framework for disabling the North's nuclear capability, it would seem that President Roh Moo-hyun's risky gambit of holding a summit with Kim Jong-il as his term winds down has paid off.
"The summit produced better results than many earlier predicted, especially in economic cooperation and peace," Kim Yeon-Chul, a professor at Korea University, told AFP.
Taking place just two months before a presidential election in which Roh's liberal allies are trailing badly, reactions to the summit agreement also fell along predictable political lines.
Liberals hailed the meeting, calling it a "historic turnaround" in relations between the two countries. Conservatives, who largely opposed holding the summit and saw it as a political stunt by Roh, were more downbeat in their assessment.
New debate over anti-North law
October 05, 2007
President Roh Moo-hyun, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il sign the joint agreement yesterday at the Paekhwawon, the state guest house in Pyongyang, on the last day of the inter-Korean summit. [YONHAP]
The controversy over the South Korean law that forbids even the recognition of North Korea flared up again yesterday after the summit agreement was announced.
Some urged the National Assembly to abolish the anti-communist National Security Law, which was passed in 1948.
Yesterday's agreement took a step in that direction.
Changes in the "National Security Law will be approached based on mutual trust and achieved naturally in line with improvements in inter-Korean relations," the Roh Moo-hyun administration said in a press release that supplemented the agreement.
Roh looks at harbor where ships may be coming in
October 05, 2007
President Roh Moo-hyun and his entourage view the West Sea Flood Gate in Nampo yesterday guided by North Korean officials. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il recommended that Roh take a look at the floodgate. Nampo is a port city that links to Pyongyang and is considered to be a possible special economic zone for development. [Joint Press Corps]
'Joint fishing zone' skirts limit-line issue
October 05, 2007
The Northern Limit Line remains in place, but vessels from both North and South Korea will be allowed to cross the "special peace and cooperation zone" in the Yellow Sea, according to yesterday's agreement.
The deal for a joint fishing zone along the maritime border between the two Koreas angered South Korean fisherman and conservatives.
"We oppose the plan," said Kim Jae-sik, a 46-year-old fisherman representing Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea near the border. "We will lose our fishing sources when large ships from the two Koreas flock to the area."
The joint fishing zone is intended to avoid accidental military clashes, the two leaders said. The top defense officials from the two countries will meet in Pyongyang next month to discuss military measures, including safety guarantees inside the zone.
Two Koreas Issue 'Peace Declaration'
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il agreed on Thursday that the leaders of the two Koreas will meet "frequently" in the future to discuss pending issues.
The two leaders signed a declaration for the advancement of inter-Korean relations, peace and prosperity which included that commitment at 1:00 p.m.
Roh Declines Kim Jong-il's Offer to Stay On
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il met at the Baekhwawon State Guesthouse in Pyongyang for some four hours on Wednesday. During the summit, they discussed extending their talks by one day. In the second session that began at 2:45 p.m., Kim made the surprise suggestion that Roh return Friday instead of Thursday.
Referring to forecasts of bad weather, Kim suggested Roh enjoy a leisurely luncheon with him on Thursday before returning home a day later.
Roh Gets 'Third-World Treatment' in Pyongyang
President Roh Moo-hyun is being honored with a level of protocol North Korean leader Kim Jong-il reserves for leaders from the developing world, former senior North Korean officials said Wednesday.
A former senior North Korean official who defected to the South said, "If he were to give the highest level of protocol to a foreign leader, Kim Jong-il would go to the airport to welcome him, visit him at Baekhwawon State Guesthouse on the day of his arrival, and attend a dinner in his honor at the Mokrangwan restaurant in the evening."
Two Koreas pledge to seek peace agreement
Roh, Kim sign joint declaration on peace mechanism, North's denuclearization
South and North Korea Thursday agreed to support international talks on North Korea's denuclearization and to arrange a meeting of concerned parties to establish a peace regime to replace the fragile armistice which ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
In an eight-point joint declaration signed by South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-il at the end of a three-day summit here, the sides also agreed to end military hostility and significantly expand inter-Korean cooperation in politics, the economy, denuclearization and other pending issues.
The agreement comes just one day after Pyongyang agreed Wednesday on detailed measures for the declaration of its nuclear programs and the disablement of its nuclear facilities by the end of the year under a denuclearization deal signed in February.
Kim Jong-il is all smiles on summits' second day
N. Korean leader's cheery demeanor bodes well for summit outcome
When North Korean leader Kim Jong-il appeared at the April 25 Hall of Culture to greet President Roh Moo-hyun on October 2, Kim was expressionless and even looked ill. However, Kim's expression had brightened considerably the next day, when he was frequently seen smiling broadly. As with the first summit with former President Kim Dae-jung in 2000, he had an easy attitude and revealed a sense of humour from time to time. He was full of vitality. In contrast, his South Korean counterpart appeared somewhat tense.
Kim's facial color had brightened and he was all smiles as the summit talks proceeded. Arriving at Paekhwawon State Guest House, the venue of the summit talks, at 9:27 a.m. yesterday, Kim smiled as he joyfully greeted Roh. He asked Roh, "Did you sleep well last night?" Kim was energetic as the two leaders shook hands, and smiled while shaking hands with the delegation from the South. As he stepped out of the conference room after finishing the first round of talks in the morning, he appeared to be satisfied. Before resuming the talks in the afternoon, Kim joked and laughed with Roh.
Kim's blunt attitude from the previous day was nowhere to be seen. While looking at a wall painting in the guest house, he conversed with Roh in a friendly manner.
Chairman Kim's witty humor was also quite notable. During the first round of summit talks, Roh expressed his appreciation to Kim for coming out to meet him the previous day. In response, Kim said, "As I am not a patient, I don't have to stay at home," making everyone present burst into laughter.
Kim's subdued manner on the opening day of the summit had caused people to speculate, but he looked entirely different yesterday, brushing off any negative impressions he may have left. South Korean broadcasters and newspapers focused on Kim's lack of expression in reporting the meeting between the two leaders. In particular, reports from the nation's conservative media, which generally do not look favorably on the summit, made it seem as though something was wrong with Kim's health.
Kim, however, seemed to act as though he had predicted such reports. Kim reportedly did this during the 2000 summit as well, and appears to now be carefully checking news reports from the South Korean media. When he said, "I am not a patient," he seems to have intended to dispel any rumors regarding his poor health.
During the first summit, he remarked, "Europeans say that I am living in seclusion but I am now free from seclusion thanks to President Kim's visit to Pyongyang," referring to former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung. Chairman Kim was apparently aware that foreign countries had made remarks of that nature.
Close watch should be kept on whether prospects for the summit will become as bright as the expression Kim was wearing yesterday.
Summit deal likely to pave way for easing military tension
Another landmark inter-Korean deal at the end of the three-day summit revives hopes of easing military tension on the peninsula and making peace take root.
The eight-point agreement between South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and his counterpart Kim Jong-il focuses on laying the gournd for mutual trust between the rival armed forces on the Cold War's last frontier and replacing the armistice with a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War. The two Koreas are technically in the state of war, deploying nearly two million combat-ready troops on each side.
"South and North Korea have agreed to closely cooperate to end their military hostilities and reduce tension and secure peace on the Korean Peninsula," the joint declaration signed by Roh and Kim reads. "South and North Korea oppose any war on the Korean Peninsula and have agreed to abide by a non-aggression obligation."
Roh's eyebrow-raising remarks
S. Korean president toasts N. Korean leader's health and long life
Visiting Pyongyang for the inter-Korean summit, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun did not seem to care much about the deep-rooted, anti-communist and anti-Kim Jong-il sentiments held by some of the conservatives in his home country, causing a mixed reaction from observers. Some expressed satisfaction, while others raised concerns about the daring, and potentially controversial, comments he made throughout the two rounds of summit talks held yesterday.
Roh's cheering remarks during the dinner on October 2 are a prime example of this. One and a half hours after the dinner started, Roh left his table and rushed to the microphone. He said, "There is one thing surely needed for inter-Korean peace and economic development. North Korea's National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il should live a long and healthy life, and Kim Yong-nam, standing committee chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly, should also stay healthy. A little while ago, I forgot to pray for their health during the cheering remarks. Why don't you raise your glasses to that?"
Upon hearing such words, even North Korean officials worried about a possible backlash from the South.
Building a cornerstone for peace in Northeast Asia
Coincidentally enough the summit in Pyongyang between South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il came on the same day last year that North Korea's foreign ministry said Pyongyang was going to test a nuclear device. The political situation surrounding the Korean peninsula almost went as bad as it could have. Things began a rapid turn around earlier this year, to the point where we are already talking about a new order, one of peace, for the Korean peninsula and the Northeast Asian region. It makes you realize how true the expression "the land grows firmer where the rain has come and gone" really is. It is clear that the summit will contribute in a major way to accelerating this trend.
Kim Jong Il Visits Roh Moo Hyun and Holds Talks with Him
Pyongyang, October 3 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il visited the state guest house where President Roh Moo Hyun is staying and held talks with him on Wednesday.
Kim Jong Il was greeted by Roh Moo Hyun and his wife and his suite members in the lobby of the Paekhwawon State Guest House.
Kim Jong Il had tete-a-tete talks with Roh Moo Hyun.
The meeting of the top leaders of the north and the south marked an important occasion in expanding and developing the inter-Korean relations onto a higher stage on the basis of the historic June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and in the spirit of "By our nation itself" and thereby bringing about a new phase in achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula, prosperity common to the nation and the reunification of the country.
Gifts to Kim Jong Il from Roh Moo Hyun
Pyongyang, October 3 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il received gifts from south Korean President Roh Moo Hyun Wednesday.
Present at the presentation ceremony were President Roh Moo Hyun and his wife, Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O Gyu, Minister of Unification Ri Jae Jong, Director of the National Intelligence Service Kim Man Bok, Chief for Unification, Diplomatic and Security Policies of Chongwadae Paek Jong Chon and other suite members.
Roh Moo Hyun explained gifts to Kim Jong Il.
Kim Jong Il thanked for the gifts before looking them round.
Roh Moo Hyun Appreciates "Arirang"
Pyongyang, October 3 (KCNA) -- Visiting south Korean President Roh Moo Hyun appreciated the grand gymnastic and artistic performance "Arirang" at the May Day Stadium Wednesday.
Among the audience were Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O Gyu, Minister of Science and Technology Kim U Sik, Minister of Unification Ri Jae Jong, Minister of National Defence Kim Jang Su, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Im Sang Gyu, Minister of Health and Welfare Pyon Jae Jin, Director of the National Intelligence Service Kim Man Bok and other suite members and reporters from the south side.
Roh Moo Hyun Hosts Banquet
Pyongyang, October 3 (KCNA) -- South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun on a visit to Pyongyang hosted a banquet at the People's Palace of Culture Wednesday.
Present there on invitation were Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Choe Thae Bok, chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly, Ro Tu Chol, vice-premier of the Cabinet, Ryu Mi Yong, chairperson of the Central Committee of the Korean Chondoist Chongu Party, and officials of power bodies, working people's organizations, ministries and national institutions
Wife of Roh Moo Hyun Visits Korean Central History Museum
Pyongyang, October 3 (KCNA) -- Kwon Ryang Suk, wife of south Korean President Roh Moo Hyun, and some suite members from the south side visited the Korean Central History Museum Wednesday.
She looked round relics and materials showing the ancient history and brilliant culture of the Korean nation from the primitive age to the middle ages.
On the same day she also visited the Academy of Koryo Medical Science.
Inter-Korean Round-Table Talks Held
Pyongyang, October 3 (KCNA) -- Round-table talks among representatives in different fields in the north and the south were held here Wednesday.
They included talks between politicians, big businessmen, different industrialists and persons in the fields of culture, arts and science, figures of social organizations and media institutions, religionists and women. At the talks the representatives referred to the achievements made in the efforts to implement the June 15 joint declaration in the past.
They exchanged views on boosting the cooperation in order to contribute to achieving reconciliation, unity and prosperity common to the nation and accomplishing the cause of reunification in the idea of "By our nation itself."
Roh, Kim Sign Joint Declaration on Peace Mechanism
PYONGYANG _ South and North Korea Thursday agreed to support international talks on North Korea's denuclearization and to arrange a meeting of concerned parties to establish a peace regime to replace the fragile armistice which ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
In an eight-point joint declaration signed by South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-il at the end of a three-day summit here, the sides also agreed to end military hostility and significantly expand inter-Korean cooperation in politics, the economy, denuclearization and other pending issues.
The agreement comes just one day after Pyongyang agreed Wednesday on detailed measures for the declaration of its nuclear programs and the disablement of its nuclear facilities by the end of the year under a denuclearization deal signed in February.
Full Text of Inter-Korean Agreement
The following is the full text of the eight-point agreement by the leaders of the two Koreas at the end
of their summit.
Declaration for Advancing Inter-Korean Relations and Peace and Prosperity
President Roh Moo-hyun of the Republic of Korea visited Pyongyang during October 2-4, 2007, in accordance with the agreement between President Roh Moo-hyun and Chairman Kim Jong-il of the National Defense Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Pyongyang Shows Unusual Diplomacy
By Yoon Won-sup
North Korea has shown unusual diplomatic protocol during the second-inter Korean summit in Pyongyang, changing schedules and venues of planned events several times.
On the first day of President Roh Moo-hyun's visit to Pyongyang, Tuesday, the North changed a venue for welcoming Roh twice before settling on the April 25 House of Culture.
In addition, the North informed the South just two hours before that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il would show up at the welcoming ceremony.
Moreover, Kim arrived at the Baekwhawon State Guesthouse for summit talks at 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time, and the talks began earlier.
Among other things, Kim asked Roh to extend the summit talks by one day to Friday. Surprised, Roh told him that he would discuss the request with his staff, but concluded he would return home as scheduled.
The changes are far from normal for summit diplomacy by heads of state whose schedule is normally fixed according to a well-prepared timeline. It is almost unheard of to change events involved in summit talks because heads of state need tight security and the changes could harm state affairs.
The North Korean official who attended the talks was also an example of this unusual diplomacy. For South Korea, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O-kyu, Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung, National Intelligence Director Kim Man-bok and Baek Jong-chun, chief presidential secretary for foreign and security policy attended the two rounds of talks in the morning and afternoon.
However, only Kim Yang-gon, the director of the United Front Department of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, accompanied Kim Jong-il to the talks.
The basic etiquette of equalizing the number of attendees was ignored.
Koreas to Seek a Formal Peace Treaty
North's Kim, South's Roh Reach Accords at Summit
By Blaine Harden Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, October 4, 2007; Page A12
SEOUL, Oct. 4 -- Leaders of the two Koreas ended their summit Thursday with a joint pledge to seek talks with China and the United States aimed at formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War.
They also announced that they would set up a "peace zone" around a much-disputed border in the Yellow Sea that is rich with fish and where skirmishes between the countries have broken out over the past several decades.
South rejects offer to extend Koreas summit
Wed Oct 3, 2007 8:48am ET
By Jon Herskovitz
SEOUL (Reuters) - The second ever summit between the two Koreas looked strained on Wednesday when the South's president snubbed an invitation to stay in Pyongyang another day and said North Korea still did not trust its neighbor.
But Seoul insisted the talks between Roh Moo-hyun and the North's reclusive leader Kim Jong-il had been a success and they would issue a statement by lunchtime on Thursday.
"The leaders met twice today in the morning and afternoon. We believe there was sufficient and honest dialogue. The president said the result of the talks was satisfactory," presidential spokesman Chon Ho-seon told reporters in Pyongyang. He did not elaborate.
Earlier, the communist state's leader invited Roh to stay on until Friday, saying it would allow the two men, who have never met before, to hold more relaxed and substantive talks.
No reason was given for the rejection but a South Korean spokesman later quoted Kim as telling Roh at the end of their meeting: "We have had sufficient dialogue so it (another day) may not be necessary. You have people waiting in the South so let's do it as we had planned."
Sunny south meets frosty north as two Koreas try to bridge 50-year gap
.Jonathan Watts, east Asia correspondent
Wednesday October 3, 2007
.A brief handshake marked the start of only the second summit in more than half a century between the leaders of North and South Korea, the two sides of a peninsula that is still technically at war.
Amid low expectations for the meeting, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il was markedly less enthusiastic in welcoming his South Korean counterpart Roh Moo-hyun than he had been with his predecessor seven years ago.
Tens of thousands of Pyongyang residents lined the streets to wave and cheer at Mr Roh's cavalcade, but Mr Kim appeared tired as he greeted his ebullient visitor in front of a military honour guard
Second summit begins as Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
First day of 2007 inter-Korean summit draws comparisons with that of 2000
PYONGYANG - Yesterday, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun stepped into history as the first man to walk across the military demarcation line dividing North and Sout Korea and only the second to hold a summit with the North's reclusive leader, Kim Jong-il. Though the North pulled out all the stops for Roh's arrival, lining the streets of Pyongyang dressed in colorful hanbok, Korea's traditional attire, waving flowers and cheering, the second inter-Korean summit has been far less shocking and impressive when compared with the historic first summit between former President Kim Dae-jung and his North Korean counterpart in 2000.
The level of ceremony in North Korean leader Kim's reception of President Roh Moo-hyun at the start of the second summit was lower than that of the previous summit. In 2000, Chairman Kim showed up at Sunan Airport in Pyongyang to greet former President Kim, but this time the meeting, which was itself a surpise as it had not been known whether he would appear, was held at the April 25 Hall of Culture. In addition, Roh was greeted by different people in different places. When Roh entered North Korea after crossing the Military Demarcation Line on foot, Choi Seung-chul, deputy chief of the United Front Department, was waiting for him, while Kim Yong-nam, the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, known as the ceremonial head of the state, greeted Roh when he arrived at the People's Palace of Culture.
Following the welcome ceremony, Kim Young-nam, the North's number two man, guided Roh, First Lady Kwon Yang-suk and the South's official attendants, to Paekhwawon State Guest House, the official accommodations for Roh. During the 2000 summit with Roh's predecessor, the leaders of the two Koreas traveled to the Paekhwawon State Guest House in a limousine. The delegation from the South moved in small groups because Roh and his entourage traveled to North Korea overland.
North Korea's welcome to Roh and his entourage was heartfelt. The fervent welcome mood showed by Pyongyang citizens has been almost same with that of the first summit.
After arriving at the People's Palace of Culture around 11:40 a.m., President Roh and Chairman Kim of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly rode side by side in an open limousine. They received an enthusiastic reception from residents of the North Korean capital. The motorcade continued for about 20 minutes in the six-kilometer, six-lane route from the People's Palace of Culture near the Jung district to the April 25 Hall of Culture in the Daeseong district.
A North Korean official said, "The citizens of Pyongyang sincerely welcome President Roh and his entourage. It is historic to hold a joint South-North motorcade in downtown Pyongyang
It was a remarkable sight to see the presidential vehicle parading down the Pyongyang streets while flying the South Korean national flag. Hundreds and thousands of Pyongyang citizens shouted "Manse!" (long life), "reunification of the fatherland" and "welcome," while waving bunches of pink, purple and red paper flowers. Some women were seen in tears. For the previous summit, a similar number of North Korean residents came to the streets to receive the former South Korean leader
N. Korean leader greets S. Korean president without enthusiasm
No hugging. No smile. Despite his routine bouffant-style hair and military-like jumpsuit, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's attitude in greeting the visiting South Korean president was apparently different from that of seven years ago.
Appearing in front of a performing arts center in Pyongyang, a poker-faced Kim, 65, looked old and haggard, which could rekindle a controversy over his health.
The bespectacled Kim rarely smiled or talked to President Roh Moo-hyun while shaking hands with him and inspecting honor guards side by side, television footage from the North Korean capital showed. After the brief and rather awkward encounter, the leaders departed in seperate cars.
But others play it down as Kim's cautious approach towards his southern counterpart, who is four years younger than him, citing the Korean culture of respecting seniority.
Roh, Kim conclude first round of summit talks
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il concluded the first round of their summit talks shortly before noon on Wednesday after in-depth discussions on measures to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula and cross-border economic cooperation, Roh's spokesman said.
The talks between Roh and Kim were to resume at 2:30 p.m.,
Cheon Ho-seon said in a media briefing.
The talks began at 9:34 a.m. at the Paekhwawon State Guest House, the official accommodation of the South Korean president and his official delegates.
The South Korean side also included four senior officials -- Economy and Finance Minister Kwon O-kyu, Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung, National Intelligence Service chief Kim Man-bok and chief presidential secretary for foreign and security policy, Baek Jong-chun.
The North Korean leader came to the meeting with Kim Yang-gon, director of the United Front Department of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party.
North Korean leader Kim arrived at the entrance of the state guest house at 9:27 a.m. and was greeted by Roh, first lady Kwon Yang-suk and the South's special delegates.
Shaking hands with Roh and Kwon, Kim asked, "Did you sleep well?" and the president replied, "I had a good night's sleep. The accommodation is very satisfactory."
While walking together towards the meeting room, the two leaders talked to each other about a wall painting of waves in a sea. In the conversation, Roh was heard telling Kim, "I was very worried about (recent) flood damage in North Korea. On my way here (to Pyongyang), I found everything is in good order."
In reply, Kim said Roh may have experienced some inconvenience due to the North's flood-damaged expressway, referring to the South Korean president's overland trip from Seoul to Pyongyang on Tuesday.
"(Former South Korean President) Kim Dae-jung flew into North Korea (for the first inter-Korean summit in June 2000). But you walked across the (inter-Korean) military demarcation line. That was very meaningful," said the North Korean leader.
S. Korean president offers gifts including DVDs for film-loving N. Korean dictator
In a friendly gesture intended to warm up official summit talks, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun Wednesday offered film-fanatic North Korean leader Kim Jong-il an expansive DVD set containing a TV series that stars a top South Korean female actress believed to be Kim's favorite, television footage from Pyongyang showed.
Kim Jong-il shows signs of age
N. Korean leader's appearance at summit welcome could dispel rumours of his declining health
.North Korean leader Kim Jong-il came out unexpectedly to welcome his South Korean counterpart Roh Moo-hyun at the start of the 2007 inter-Korean summit, which began yesterday in Pyongyang, but appeared more haggard than he had at the first summit seven years ago and the smiles he wore then seemed to have disappeared.
Still, he walked energetically and took a firm stance when he stood with President Roh. When he inspected the honor guard, he walked with hands swinging strongly back and forth. He also moved energetically while introducing his staff to his visiting South Korean counterparts. Responding to cheering Pyongyang citizens, Kim strongly clapped his hands and sometimes held his hands upward and waved them toward those hailing him. His grip on power seemed to be as solid as his grip on the hands of the North's nominal head Kim Yong-nam, who held Kim's hands with a slight nod as a gesture of respect when the two greeted one another.
Some experts say that the reason why Kim displayed a comparatively blunt attitude toward Roh might be because he recognizes that he is older than his South Korean counterpart
Handshakes, ceremony and hope
'This forbidden line will gradually fade out,' Roh says on making historic border crossing
October 03, 2007
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il shakes hands with President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday at a ceremony to begin the three-day inter-Korean summit. It is only the second meeting between leaders of the two Koreas. [Joint Press Corps]
In a gesture filled with drama and hope for a peaceful future, President Roh Moo-hyun and First Lady Kwon Yang-suk left their car yesterday to cross on foot from one of the world's most successful capitalist countries into one of the last communist strongholds.
Kim Jong Il Greets Roh Moo Hyun
Pyongyang, October 2 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il on Tuesday greeted south Korean President Roh Moo Hyun on a visit to Pyongyang.
The streets of the capital city were wrapped in a festive mood.
The meeting of the top leaders of the north and the south will mark an event of weighty significance in boosting the inter-Korean relations to a new higher stage on the basis of the historic June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and in the spirit of "By our nation itself" and opening up a new phase for achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula, prosperity common to the nation and national reunification
Talks Held between Kim Yong Nam and Roh Moo Hyun
Pyongyang, October 2 (KCNA) -- Talks were held between President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong Nam and south Korean President Roh Moo Hyun at the Mansudae Assembly Hall Tuesday.
Present there from the DPRK side were Kim Il Chol, minister of the People's Armed Forces, Choe Thae Bok, chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly, Ro Tu Chol, vice-premier of the Cabinet, Kim Yong Sam, minister of Railways, Ra Tong Hui, minister of Land and Marine Transport, Choe Chang Sik, minister of Public Health, Ri Kyong Sik, minister of Agriculture, and officials concerned and from the south side Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O Gyu, Minister of Science and Technology Kim U Sik, Minister of Unification Ri Jae Jong, Minister of National Defence Kim Jang Su, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Im Sang Gyu, Minister of Health and Welfare Pyon Jae Jin, Director of the National Intelligence Service Kim Man Bok and other suite members.
Banquet Given for Roh Moo Hyun
Pyongyang, October 2 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, and Pak Kwan O, chairman of the Pyongyang City People's Committee, hosted a banquet at the Mokran House Tuesday in honor of south Korean President Roh Moo Hyun and his party on a visit to Pyongyang.
Present there on invitation together with Roh Moo Hyun were Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O Gyu, Minister of Science and Technology Kim U Sik, Minister of Unification Ri Jae Jong, Minister of National Defence Kim Jang Su, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Im Sang Gyu, Minister of Health and Welfare Pyon Jae Jin, Director of the National Intelligence Service Kim Man Bok and other suite members.
Roh Moo Hyun Welcomed by Pyongyangites along Route
Pyongyang, October 2 (KCNA) -- South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun arrived in Pyongyang Tuesday.
At 11:40 a.m. a motorcade carrying Roh Moo Hyun and his party reached the road in front of the People's Palace of Culture.
Roh Moo Hyun was greeted by Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Choe Yong Rim, secretary general of the SPA Presidium, and Pak Kwan O, chairman of the Pyongyang City People's Committee.
Women workers presented bouquets to Roh Moo Hyun and his wife.
Roh Moo Hyun waved back to the crowd shouting "Welcome."
A limousine carrying Kim Yong Nam and Roh Moo Hyun passed through Mansudae Street, Changjon Intersection and Chilsongmun Street.
Hundreds of thousands of Pyongyangites welcomed Roh Moo Hyun along the route, waving bouquets and chanting slogan "National Reunification."
Leaders to Discuss Peace, Economy, Unification
.US Wants Summit Not to Detract From Denuclearization Talks
By Yoon Won-sup With Kim Yon-se in Pyongyang
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il greeted President Roh Moo-hyun in a surprise appearance on a red carpet in front of a cultural center in Pyongyang on Tuesday.
The leaders inspected a military honor guard with thousands of cheering residents at the April 25 House of Culture, which is the North's largest art facility often used for large-scale gatherings.
Two Koreas 'Fine-Tuning' Views on Peace for Summit
President Roh Moo-hyun walks across the Bridge of Unification in South Korea's northernmost region of Paju, Gyeonggi Province, on his way to North Korea for the three-day inter-Korean summit on Tuesday.
President Roh Moo-hyun holds a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on Wednesday. To enable them to issue a form of joint peace declaration for the Korean Peninsula, officials from the two Korean governments are fine-tuning their views. The South Korean government has reportedly suggested that the declaration carries the resolve of both Koreas to reduce military tension and build an inter-Korean economic community.
7 Thorny Issues for the Inter-Korean Summit
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il are to discuss a range of issues involving the two countries under the theme of "peace, prosperity and unification." But the agenda covering issues that affect national sovereignty and international agreements is a minefield.
3.Northern Limit Line
There is a chance the issue will trigger division among South Koreans.
7. The LCD TVs The South Korean government has decided to give North Korea six 52-inch LCD TVs, which could be viewed as strategic materials banned from export to North Korea. LCD TVs are also considered luxury products that are banned under UN Security Council 1718 following the communist country's nuclear test last year. The South Korean government says it has not put luxury goods on the list of goods banned from export to North Korea, while LCD TVs are not strategic goods. But the U.S. is reportedly watching South Korea closely from the standpoint of abiding by the UN sanction.
[Sanctions] [Dilemma] [KR_summit07]
N. Korean leader Kim shows up at ceremony to greet Roh
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and first lady Kwon Yang-suk were personally greeted by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il at the North's official welcome ceremony held Tuesday at the April 25 Hall of Culture on the outskirts of Pyongyang.
The dramatic meeting came as the North's reclusive leader made an unscheduled appearance at the ceremony, which was originally to be held at the Monument to Three Charters for National Reunification at the entrance of the capital city.
Roh arrived at the venue of the ceremony riding in an open car along with Kim Yong-nam, North Korea's titular head of state who holds the post of chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.
Upon leaving the car, Roh shook hands with Kim Jong-il and they inspected an honor guard of North Korean troops together.
After exchanging greetings with each other's key Cabinet ministers and high-ranking aides, Roh left for the Paekhwawon State Guest House, the official accommodation for the president and the first lady, amid a warm welcome from a large number of North Korean citizens lining the streets of Pyongyang.
[Editorial] Sowing the seeds of prosperity
Despite many ups and downs along the way, there has been steady progress in inter-Korean relations since the 2000 summit in Pyongyang, in economic cooperation and exchange and in humanitarian endeavors. The Gaeseong Industrial Park is right on track, and thousands of South Koreans are in North Korea every day. A rail link connecting Seoul and Gaeseong began test runs in May of this year. Still, however, the level of relations has failed to keep up with the hopes of the Korean people and the rapidly changing pace of the regional political situation.
Peace in his time is Roh's summit goal
October 02, 2007
If President Roh Moo-hyun gets his way at the inter-Korean summit beginning today in Pyongyang, he will come away with an agreement that could formally end the Korean War.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the 59th Armed Forces Day, Roh said yesterday that his priority for the second meeting between the two Koreas is to establish a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, which has been technically in a state of war since the conflict ended with an armistice in 1953.
The Blue House has been unwilling to release a detailed agenda for the talks, citing diplomatic custom. Roh's speech yesterday, however, confirmed his desire to make a peace agreement a key focus.
Roh Crosses Border Line on Foot
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and first lady Kwon Yang-suk crossed the inter-Korean border line by foot and entered the communist North early Tuesday morning for the summit in North Korea's capital Pyongyang.
Roh, who has vowed to put a Korean Peninsula peace arrangement to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War at the top of his summit agenda, became the first South Korean head of state to travel overland to North Korea.
Summit Reflects Changing Times
By Kim Tong-hyung
The late Rev. Moon Ik-hwan, a Presbyterian minister and dissident who frequented the headlines in the 1980s and 1990s, suffered numerous types of persecution under the past military governments that brooked no opposition.
There were many painful chapters in Moon's turbulent life that saw him jailed five times while leading the pro-democracy movement.
But perhaps the most famous story would be Moon's unauthorized visit to North Korea in 1989, which landed him a five-year prison sentence on charges of violating the National Security Law that bars contact with the North without prior approval.
Many South Koreans still vividly remember a visibly weakened Moon smiling to the crowd upon his early release in 1993, just a year before he died at the age of 76 due to heart ailments.
Fast forward to 2007, and it's hard to miss history's irony that has Moon's 54-year-old movie star son booking a spot in Pyongyang as a member of the South Korean delegation for the three-day summit.
Foreign Journalists Differ on Expectations for Summit
By Kim Tae-jong, Kang Shin-who
International journalists have descended on Seoul to cover the 2007 South-North Korean Summit in Pyongyang Oct. 2-4. For the reporters, a large-scale press center at the Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul is the closest they will get to relay news to the rest of the world without traveling to Pyongyang.
So far, some 850 journalists from 131 local news media outlets and 320 from 77 foreign news companies were registered at the center as of Monday afternoon.
South Korean President Meets Unsmiling Kim In North
Published: October 2, 2007
Filed at 1:05 a.m. ET
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's president arrived in hermit North Korea's capital on Tuesday to cheering crowds and a dour leader Kim Jong-il for only the second summit between two states still technically at war.
South Korea's Roh Moo-hyun has billed his first trip to the communist North as a chance to end animosity born with the partition of the Korean peninsula at the end of World War Two.
But Roh's critics say the visit is aimed more at domestic politics and expect him to tip-toe around the sensitive issues of nuclear weapons and human rights abuses.
North Koreans dressed in their finest, on cue, waved pink and red plastic flowers and cheered when Kim arrived at a main city square, repeating the greeting minutes later as Roh stepped out of an open car supplied by North Korea.
An unsmiling and portly Kim, wearing his trademark jumpsuit and platform shoes that made him appear taller than Roh, then shook hands with the South Korean leader and his wife.
The greeting was in sharp contrast to Kim's effusive welcome for South Korean President Kim Dae-jung at the start of the first summit in 2000. Then, the two leaders rode together in cars, embraced, held hands and harmonized in singing patriotic songs.
And there was no mention of the latest summit in the official North Korean media on Tuesday.
Korea Unveils Asia's Biggest Amphibious Landing Vessel
A separate area for female soldiers, a community kitchen which can accommodate 154 soldiers at once, medical facilities equivalent to a hospital complex including a dental hospital and an operating room, a barbershop, elevators and a canteen: all these facilities can be found in the 14,000-ton Dokdo LPH, Asia's largest amphibious landing and transport vessel, on an area the size of two soccer fields.
The Dokdo LPH, which was unveiled to the press on Friday, has facilities not far behind those of a large U.S. aircraft carrier.
Roh heads to Pyongyang Tueday for peace talks with N. Korean leader
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, accompanied by a 300-member entourage, will Tuesday embark on a three-day visit to North Korea for the second inter-Korean summit amid an upbeat mood on North Korea's nuclear disarmament and a permanent peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula.
Roh, who has vowed to put a new Korean Peninsula peace arrangement to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War at the top of his summit agenda, will become the first South Korean head of state to travel overland to visit North Korea. Roh's predecessor, Kim Dae-Jung, travelled to the North by air for the first inter-Korean summit in June 2000.
Rodong Sinmun on Principled Demand for Development of Inter-Korean Relations
Pyongyang, September 30 (KCNA) -- It is the fundamental condition for achieving the independent and peaceful reunification of the country to develop the movement for national reunification and inter-Korean relations in conformity with the demand of the June 15 era of reunification.
Rodong Sinmun Sunday says this in a signed article.
The relations between the north and the south are those of the Korean nation itself, a homogeneous nation, from A to Z, the article notes, and goes on:
The Korean nation should positively promote the historic cause of national reunification by substantially developing the movement for national reunification and inter-Korean relations as required by the June 15 era of reunification.
NK Leader May Greet Roh at DMZ
By Kim Yon-se
Government officials do not rule out the possibility that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il may welcome President Roh Moo-hyun at the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) on Oct. 2 before their summit in Pyongyang until Oct. 4.
The possibility emerged as the South and North reached an agreement on Sunday that Roh would walk across the inter-Korean border on his way to the North Korean capital with his wife Kwon Yang-suk.
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