Kim Calls for More Flexibility in US Approach toward NK

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WASHINGTON -- President Kim Dae-jung Thursday called for the provision of security guarantees and economic assistance to North Korea in exchange for its renunciation of nuclear and missile programs under a ``broad principle of reciprocity.''

The broad principle of reciprocity seems to be opposite the present U.S. president's ``more strict rule of reciprocity,'' a stance indicating a tougher U.S. stance against the North.

However, President Kim threw his support behind the demands Bush attached on any new deal with Pyongyang, saying, ``Korea and the United States have no fundamental difference of view on Pyongyang, albeit there might be a slight difference in the pace of repproachment.''

In a meeting with 25 scholars on Korea issues at the Madison Hotel, President Kim said that he agreed with U.S. President George W. Bush on the need to verify Pyongyang's faithful implementation of an agreement it is involved in.

The 76-year-old Korean Head of State observed that President Bush was skeptical about North Korean leader Kim Jong-il during his March 7 summit at the Oval Office. Bush told reporters after the summit that he had ``some skepticism'' about Kim Jong-il, a reference taken as a confirmation of his ``get-tough'' approach to the Stalinist state. …