중앙데일리

Lee used Kim Il Sung’s own words

Apr 26,2006
One month before he died, North Korean leader Kim Il Sung said that using the railroad leading to the South to transport Chinese products could earn the North $400 million per year, according to an official biography.
South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok used those words to pressure the North Korean delegation during inter-Korean talks, telling them it was one of the dying leader’s last requests, said a government official.
“The remarks by the minister made the North’s delegation speechless,” the official said.
Mr. Lee pressured his North Korean counterpart, Kwon Ho-ung, North Korea’s senior cabinet counselor, to produce a concrete date for the reopening of the railroad and a test drive.
However, the North made no concrete concessions about the railroad.
Mr. Lee also told the North Koreans that the issue of Kim Yong-nam, a South Korean who was kidnapped in 1978, has now become a matter of concern.
The Japanese have investigated the kidnappings, because Mr. Kim later married a Japanese woman also believed to have been abducted by North Korea. The couple’s daughter lives in North Korea.
Mr. Kwon replied that relevant government bodies were currently investigating the case, a remark that seemed to acknowledge that Kim Yong-nam does exist.
A government official said yesterday that during four hours of direct talks between Mr. Lee and Mr. Kwon, topics were brought up by the South that could have agitated the North. He was not any more specific.


by Lee Young-jong


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