President Kim Urges Patience regarding NK Leader's Seoul Visit

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), January 22, 2001 | Go to article overview

President Kim Urges Patience regarding NK Leader's Seoul Visit


President Kim Dae-jung cautioned against overanxiousness to see North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visit Seoul, saying that what's important is not the timing of his visit but its corresponding progress in inter-Korean rapprochement.

Speaking on the first anniversary of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), which he founded and still heads, on Saturday, President Kim said, ``Nothing has been finalized concerning Kim Jong-il's visit and I am not overly anxious.

``Whether he comes early or late is not important,'' he said. ``The important thing is that South and North Korea will be able to fully coordinate the issue of peace and economic cooperation, making his visit a successful one.''

The level of anticipation for the North Korean leader's early visit to Seoul has risen several notches, as he just visited China for an extensive tour of its industrial and commercial areas and had political consultations with its leaders.

Experts speculated that his unofficial visit could lead to Pyongyang's greater opening to the outside world and, as a result of such a shift, to his early visit to Seoul to reciprocate for President Kim's landmark trip to the North Korean capital last June. Of note is the fact that the North Korean leader visited China in May last year, less than a month before welcoming Kim Dae-jung to Pyongyang. …

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