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South Korea President Roh Mooh-hyun's on visit to Pyongyang, October 8, 2007

President Roh Reports on Pyongyang Visit (S. Korean Press Corps, Seoul), October 4, 2007.

President Roh Moo-hyun, returning to the South Thursday (Oct. 4) evening from a three-day visit to the North, said that he was able to confirm North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Il's determination to denuclearize his country.

"My trip to North Korea was very satisfactory," Roh said at a welcoming ceremony held just south of the border.

"North Korean leader Kim and I came to understand each other better. I confirmed Chairman Kim's commitment to the denuclearization of the North. I found no problem in North Korea's willingness to implement the denuclearization process," said the President.

President Roh reported that the North Korean leader called in the North's chief nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye Gwan, during their summit talks on Wednesday and had him give a lengthy explanation on the North's denuclearization plan.

"I think the latest inter-Korean summit talks will contribute to the success of the six-party talks (on disabling the North's nuclear program). I appreciate North Korea's commitment to denuclearization," President Roh said.

"Chairman Kim and I also agreed to reduce military tension between the two Koreas through dialogue and negotiation," said President Roh, opining that the inter-Korean maritime border dispute in the West Sea be seen from an economic aspect, not military viewpoint.

In the inter-Korean Joint Declaration issued Thursday, Roh and Chairman Kim agreed to create a special peace zone in the disputed waters close to the North Korean coast in West Sea.

Roh also said he had proposed Kim make a visit to South Korea but that the North Korean leader declined. "Chairman Kim suggested delaying his visit to the South until an appropriate time. Instead, Kim said he would be glad to have (President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly) Kim Yong Nam visit Seoul on his behalf," said President Roh.

Giving a detailed explanation on his inter-Korean agreement on economic cooperation, President Roh said, "The agreement to build an inter-Korean joint shipbuilding complex (in Anbyeon and Nampo) is very important."

The President said that the creation of a "peace and cooperation zone" in the West Sea as envisioned in the 2007 South-North Declaration is a project that will greatly benefit the fishermen and businesses in the North and South, let alone promoting peace and co-prosperity of the two Koreas.

"When the Haeju Industrial Complex is developed, it will greatly help ease military tensions between the two Koreas as it will be linked to Incheon Port in the South and the Han River estuary where a joint dredging project will be undertaken in the future," President Roh added.

The President said he believed it was most fortunate that he was able to broaden mutual understanding with North Korea's Chairman Kim through candid conversations especially on the need to increase economic cooperation between the South and North.

Source: Republic of Korea President's website, http://english.president.go.kr.

© 2007 The Acronym Institute.