중앙데일리

Gov't to Focus on Establishing Meeting Points for Separated Families

Aug 21,2000
President Kim Dae-jung has reconfirmed his government's resolve to step up inter-Korean contacts and exchanges. On Monday, he ordered that, "maximum efforts be put into opening the way for the exchange of letters between the North and South, confirming the welfare of separated family members and establishing meeting points to allow as many families as possible to reunite in the shortest amount of time."

Speaking at a cabinet council meeting on August 21, the president commented that, "in the recent reunion, 200 separated family members were exchanged and 1,000 people were reunited out of a total of 10 million separated family members. However, it will be extremely difficult to resolve some of the issues related to the separated families."

Regarding the medical strike, President Kim said, "the government has done all it can, increasing medical service fees and improving working conditions for medical residents. Negotiation and dialogue with the medical sector is still an alternative, but selfish group action cannot be permitted. If the government surrenders to egoistic actions by a special interest group which holds the life of the nation hostage, it will be impossible to manage the nation. The government must make sure that laws are respected while maintaining a dialogue to resolve the situation as soon as possible."

President Kim also sought to dispel inter-Korean tensions over the continuation of the yearly joint US-South Korea Ulchi Focus Lens military exercise, saying, "it's all for peace...it must not threaten this extraordinary atmosphere of reconciliation and cooperation between South and North Korea."

by Kim Jin-kook




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