중앙데일리

Roh and Kim spring summit surprise

Secret talks preceded agreement, GNP calls plan an election trick   PLAY AUDIO

Aug 09,2007
At the end of this month President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korea’s Kim Jong-il will be able to shake hands in person during the second inter-Korean summit scheduled for Aug. 28 to 30. [JoongAng Ilbo]

In unveiling long-rumored plans for a second inter-Korean summit to bring “peace and prosperity” to the peninsula, the Blue House yesterday positioned itself at the center of the political stage, giving President Roh Moo-hyun a chance to finish his term with a dramatic thaw in relations with North Korea.
Secret negotiations preceded the surprise announcement yesterday morning that Roh and Kim Jong-il will meet in Pyongyang from Aug. 28 to 30, just the second meeting of its kind.
While the nation ― and the world ― welcomed the news, political opponents accused Roh of using Pyongyang to influence the December election.
Former president Kim Dae-jung, who held the first inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang seven years ago, called the move “a great step forward for peace.” The conservative Grand National Party dismissed the meeting as a stunt to help a liberal candidate win the presidential election.
“We oppose the inter-Korean summit, which is taking place at an inappropriate time and venue and through opaque procedures. The summit, which is being prepared as an election stunt, will only spark public resentment and backfire,” said the GNP, adding that the summit “will end up as a backroom deal and result in ridiculously generous aid to pamper the North.”
With the Grand National Party leading in opinion polls for president, yesterday’s announcement was sure to raise questions about the North’s agenda. The last two liberal administrations have pursued a policy of openness toward the North, rewarding breakthroughs with substantial aid packages. The GNP, which the North has called “a treacherous pro-U.S. conservative force,” is traditionally far more skeptical about Pyongyang.

In Washington, the U.S. State Department greeted the news by saying it “supported North-South dialogue.” Victor Cha, a former Bush administration advisor on North Korea said that the U.S. government will be supportive of the summit.
The groundwork was finalized in recent days as South Korea’s spy chief held secret meetings to hammer out a deal. Even Washington was not informed of the plan until hours before it was made public.
The meeting “will crucially and significantly influence the opening of a new phase in the quest for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” said a statement read by Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung during a news conference.
The Blue House said the summit was expected to help resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and lead to enhanced military contact and greater economic cooperation.
Kim Man-bok, the head of the National Intelligence Agency, and Kim Yang-gon, the director of the North’s United Front Department under the Workers’ Party, worked out the deal. Seoul’s spymaster secretly visited Pyongyang Aug. 2 and 3, when he was informed that Kim Jong-il wanted a second summit.
The spy boss returned to Seoul with the news and then flew back to Pyongyang bearing a signed agreement from Roh giving the nod to a summit. On Aug. 5, Kim Man-bok and Kim Yang-gon signed the agreement for the summit.
The two governments will hold working-level negotiations in Kaesong before the summit.
“Seoul’s position has been that the summit can be held anytime, anywhere. It is not related to domestic politics,” said Baek Jong-chun, chief presidential secretary for foreign and security policy.
Kim Man-bok denied that there was any cash attached to the deal. Such talk, he said, is “groundless and absurd.” He said the summit was worked out in a “transparent manner.”


Joint statement on South-North Agreement


on President Roh Moo-hyun’s Visit to Pyongyang

‘...The meeting between the two highest leaders of the South and North will expand and develop South-North relations a step higher based on the South-North Joint Declaration of June 15, 2000 and the spirit of the Korean nation, thereby crucially and significantly influencing the opening of a new phase in the quest for peace on the Korean Peninsula, common prosperity of the Korean nation and unification of the homeland...’

‘... the second South-North Korean summit will be able to not only help resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, but also enhance inter-Korean ties... ’

― Blue House statement


By Lee Min-a Staff Writer/ Chae Byung-geon JoongAng Ilbo [mina@joongang.co.kr]

Related stories
·Six-party nations applaud meeting
·Unlike in 2000, public’s response to news mixed
·Some details of summit still remain unanswered



dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장