Kim Seeks Warmer Ties

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Kim Seeks Warmer Ties

STOCKHOLM-President Kim Dae-jung held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Goran Persson of Sweden on Tuesday, and urged the prime minister to improve relations with North Korea as Sweden gets set to assume presidency of the European Union next month.

Mr. Kim arrived in Stockholm on Tuesday for a two-day official visit after his five-day trip to Norway, highlighted by Sunday's formal award ceremony of the Nobel Peace Prize.

One senior official accompanying Mr. Kim on his tour said, "Sweden is pursuing a summit with North Korea."

The aide, who asked for anonymity, said Seoul expects Sweden to play a significant role in inter-Korean peace as it is the only western country with a diplomatic mission in both Seoul and Pyongyang.

"I believe Sweden has the most experience and knowledge about North Korea, and I expect Sweden to make a great contribution to peace on the Korean Peninsula," Mr. Kim said in a speech to the Swedish parliament.

The president and the prime minister reaffirmed their commitment to the "Roundtable on Globalization" proposed by South Korea and Sweden at the third Asia-Europe Meeting held in October in Seoul.

Mr. Kim and Mr. Persson also agreed that the cease-fire between the two Koreas should be maintained until a new peace system is set up.Mr. Kim returns home Thursday, after a visit to the Nobel Foundation and meeting with Carl XVI Gustaf, king of Sweden.

by Kim Jin-kook

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