Roh, Koizumi, Wen join in appeal to North

Posted in Koreas | 30-Nov-04 | Author: Choi Hoon and Min Seong-jae| Source: Joong Ang Daily

South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun (L), Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (C) and China's Premier Wen Jiabao lock hands for a photo before holding a trilateral meeting at the10th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Vientiane on November 29, 2004.

November 30, 2004 -- VIENTIANE, Laos -- Leaders of China and Japan joined President Roh Moo-hyun here yesterday in urging North Korea to return to the six-nation negotiations designed to resolve the nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula.

Mr. Roh, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan and Premier Wen Jiabao of China held the discussion on North Korea during the eighth Association of South-East Asian Nations, or ASEAN, meeting in the Laotian capital.

According to Chung Woo-seong, Mr. Roh's diplomatic adviser, the president informed Mr. Koizumi and Mr. Wen about his recent talks with U.S. President George W. Bush in Santiago, Chile, where it was agreed to pursue a a return to the six-party negotiations.

The Chinese and Japanese leaders said they believed Pyeongyang should rejoin the talks immediately, according to Mr. Chung.

He said that Mr. Wen told Mr. Roh that the Chinese position is that the Korean Peninsula should be free of nuclear arms and that outstanding issues with North Korea should be addressed through dialogue. "Beijing will keep up its effort to persuade Pyeongyang," Mr. Wen was quoted as saying by Mr. Chung.

Mr. Koizumi said that Japan and the United States had also agreed that the six-party talks are the most effective way to solve the nuclear issue, Mr. Ching reported.

After the three leaders met, Mr. Roh had separate discussions with Mr. Wen and Mr. Koizumi to address bilateral economic cooperation policies.

The three leaders also discussed recent turbulence in the foreign exchange market in Asia. Mr. Roh proposed that steps be taken to stabilize exchange rates.

"If one country suffers from the exchange rate problem, that will affect other countries, too," Mr. Roh said. "The Korean and Japanese currencies are appreciating rapidly. This will be a burden to the Korean economy, and in the longer-term, it will adversely affect the whole East Asian economy. We may well talk about detailed measures to stabilize the exchange rate in the region."

Mr. Chung said Mr. Wen and Mr. Koizumi expressed their agreement with Mr. Roh's view.