중앙데일리

Roh, Vajpayee discuss further cooperation

Oct 06,2003
BALI, Indonesia ― On the first day of a four-day visit here, President Roh Moo-hyun met yesterday with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee prior to attending the ninth “ASEAN plus three” summit. The two leaders marked the 30th anniversary of South Korea-India relations and discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries.
The summit, an annual meeting of the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Korea, Japan and China, is due to begin today and end tomorrow. This is Mr. Roh’s first foray into multilateral diplomacy since he has only taken part in bilateral meetings up to now.
In his meeting with Mr. Vajpayee, Mr. Roh reportedly explained the South Korean government’s efforts to keep the momentum of the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear problem going. Mr. Vajpayee reportedly endorsed those efforts and expressed his wish to cooperate with them.
In a speech in Seoul before his departure yesterday, Mr. Roh said that he would use the summit forum to discuss implementing peace and prosperity in the East Asian region, and explain that it will hinge, among other things, on peace and stability between the two Koreas. “I will strive to secure pan-Asian cooperation for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear problem,” he said.
He also meets today with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao for three-way talks prior to the summit. The leaders are expected to discuss ways in which they can work together for a peaceful solution to the North Korean nuclear problem, and how they can heighten their economic cooperation, as well as their cooperation aimed at promoting security in East Asia. They are also expected to issue a joint statement that may include establishing a “three-way commission” detailing how they would cooperate in these areas.
This is Mr. Roh’s fourth overseas trip since taking office eight months ago. Three of those involved bilateral meetings with the United States, China and Japan. Blue House staff were highlighting the current trip since ASEAN is Korea’s fifth-largest trading partner after the United States, Japan, China and the European Union. ASEAN is the second largest export market for Korea’s construction sector.


by Choi Hoon


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