Wen talks with Lee about North

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Wen talks with Lee about North

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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, left, Korean President Lee Myung-bak, center, and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, right, taste local farm products in the tsunami-hit Fukushima area of Japan, Saturday. [YONHAP]


Beijing has invited the reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to grasp China’s growth and to offer a chance to learn a lesson from its economic development model, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told President Lee Myung-bak yesterday about Kim’s current trip to China.

On the sidelines of the trilateral summit among South Korea, China and Japan, Lee and Wen held a bilateral meeting yesterday to discuss pending issues between the two countries. The summit also took place amid growing speculation about Kim’s unexpected visit to China, which began Friday.

“China keeps in mind that President Lee has a far-reaching vision about North Korean leaders’ visits to China and sees them positively with strategic views,” Wen was quoted as saying by Blue House senior public affairs secretary Hong Sang-pyo. “We invited him to give him an opportunity to understand China’s situation and utilize it to develop the North.”

Said Hong: “It is President Lee’s consistent position that Kim’s frequent visits to China will work positively for opening up North Korea and developing the country.”

The reclusive North Korean leader is currently visiting China for the third time in a year. The two previous trips came in May and August of last year, and the May trip included visits to major industrial sites and ports such as Dalian, a logistical center in northeast China. The city is seen as a possible model for development in the North.

Lee has repeatedly said it was desirable for Kim to visit China more frequently, because China will show Kim that opening up the country and joining the international community will allow his people to have better lives.

The Blue House, however, refused to say whether the North Korean regime’s heir was in China or not.

“China asked the specifics to be kept undisclosed, including whether Kim Jong-un was accompanying his father or not,” Hong said.

According to the Blue House, the two leaders also had a serious exchange about the situation in the North.

Stressing the need for better inter-Korean relations and the stability of the Korean Peninsula, Wen promised that China would work to create conditions for dialogue between the two Koreas, Hong said.

According to Hong, China also made clear its opposition against North Korea’s nuclear arms programs, reconfirming Beijing’s commitment to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Concerns about the North’s nuclear arms programs were also discussed during Lee’s bilateral summit with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and the trilateral summit yesterday. The three leaders agreed yesterday to coordinate their actions to induce North Korea to take concrete actions toward giving up its nuclear arms programs through inter-Korean dialogue and six-party talks.

“We shared the view that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would greatly contribute to peace and stability in Northeast Asia. The concern was expressed regarding the DPRK’s claimed uranium enrichment program,” the joint declaration from the trilateral summit said, referring to the North by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “We underlined the essential significance of sincere and constructive inter-Korean dialogue, and stressed the importance of concrete actions to create an environment conducive to the resumption of six-party talks.”

The leaders also stressed their commitment to realize the 2005 agreement from the six-party talks, through which the North agreed to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards in return for economic and energy aid. At the time, the six parties also agreed to the principle of ‘words for words, actions for actions.’”

At the press conference, Wen said many undesirable developments took place in the region over the past two years, but he was happy to see that the situation on the Korean Peninsula has been easing slightly and the involved parties are making more of an effort.

“At the same time, there are still uncertain factors, and the foundation for dialogue is still fragile,” he said. “What’s important right now is protecting the momentum for the talks and beginning negotiations as soon as possible. Through bilateral and multilateral talks, the condition should be created to open the six-party talks and the Korean Peninsula must choose the path of dialogue.”

Calling dialogue and negotiation the only way out of the security crisis on the peninsula, Wen stressed that denuclearization of the peninsula and the stability of Northeast Asia are the ultimate goals of the region.

At the joint press conference, Kan also stressed that coordinated actions by Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo are essential to induce North Korea’s actions to resolve various security concerns.

“We also agreed that it is important for the North to assume a serious and proactive attitude in inter-Korean talks in order to open the six-party talks,” Kan said.

At the summit, Lee stressed the need for the international community to confirm whether Pyongyang is truly committed to surrender its nuclear programs. Wen only said China is greatly concerned about the North’s uranium enrichment program.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
원자바오는 MB, 후진타오는 김정일 만나 … 중국의 ‘양다리 외교’
원자바오, 이 대통령 만나 “중국 발전상 보라고 김정일 불렀다”

김정일 북한 국방위원장의 방중(訪中) 기간 중 이명박 대통령과 간 나오토(菅直人) 일본 총리는 원자바오(溫家寶·온가보) 중국 총리를 도쿄에서 만났다. 21일부터 1박2일간 열린 제4차 한·중·일 정상회의에서다. 원자바오 총리는 22일 오후 한·중 양자회담에서 김정일 북한 국방위원장의 방중에 대해 이 대통령에게 설명했다. 원자바오 총리는 “김 위원장의 중국 방문이 북한 발전이나 개방에 도움이 될 것”이란 점을 전제하면서 “중국의 발전 상황을 이해하고 이를 북한의 발전에 활용하기 위한 기회를 주기 위해 초청한 것”이라고 설명했다고 홍상표 청와대 홍보수석이 전했다. 북한 정세에 대해 원 총리는 “남북대화 여건을 조성하기 위해 노력하겠다”고 말했다고 홍 수석은 덧붙였다. 이 과정에서 원 총리는 “중국 측은 북한의 핵 보유에 반대한다”는 입장을 밝히며 한반도 비핵화 의지를 재확인했다고 한다.

 이 대통령과 원 총리는 예정 시간을 20여 분 넘겨 1시간20여 분간 만났다. 이 중 한 시간이 두 사람의 단독회담이었다. 내밀한 얘기가 오갔을 수도 있다는 얘기다.

 그러나 양국은 자세한 대화 내용을 공개하지 않기로 했다. 홍 수석은 “중국 측이 자세한 회담 내용에 대해 비공개를 요구했다”며 “거기엔 김 위원장의 후계자인 김정은 부위원장의 이번 방중 동행 여부도 포함된다”고 말했다. 이에 앞선 한·중·일 3국 간의 정상회의에서도 북한 문제가 주된 이슈였다. 3국 정상은 “한반도 비핵화가 동북아시아의 평화와 안정에 크게 기여할 것”이란 견해를 공유했다. 또 북한의 우라늄농축프로그램(UEP)에 대한 우려를 밝혔다. 이날 오전 도쿄 영빈관에서 한·중·일 정상회의가 끝난 뒤 채택한 ‘정상선언문’을 통해서다.

 간 총리는 공동기자회견에서 “6자회담 재개를 위해선 남북대화에서 북한이 적극적인 자세를 제시하는 게 중요하다는 데 의견 일치를 봤다”고 전했다. 이에 앞서 이 대통령은 정상회의 모두발언을 통해 “6자회담 개최 전에 국제사회가 북핵 불용 의지를 확인할 필요가 있다”고 강조했다. 원 총리는 이 자리에선 “북한의 우라늄 농축 프로그램 문제를 대단히 중시하고 있다”는 정도의 발언만 했다.

 3국 정상은 한·중·일 자유무역협정(FTA)에 대해서도 논의했다. 당초 2012년 말까지 끝내기로 했던 한·중·일 FTA 산·관·학 연구를 1년 앞당겨 올해 중에 끝내기로 했다. 원 총리는 이보다 더 나아가 “3국 투자협정을 위해 일본·한국과 합의를 도출할 수 있도록 노력하겠다”며 “연내에 협상을 끝낼 수 있도록 하겠다”고 말했다. 3국 정상은 동일본 대지진과 그로 인한 원전 사고와 관련, 일본의 교훈을 공유하고 협력도 강화키로 했다. 이 대통령은 “3국은 지리적으로 가까워 한 나라의 원전 사고나 재난 시 정보교환 등 제반 협력을 강화하기로 한 것은 중요한 성과”라고 평가했다. 이에 앞선 21일 3국 정상은 원전 사고 지역으로부터 65㎞쯤 떨어진 후쿠시마 이재민 대피소를 함께 방문했다. 현지에선 “이 대통령과 원 총리는 일본 대지진 피해 지역을 방문한 최초의 외국 정상”이라고 보도했다.  

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