S Korea reaffirms principle stance on inter-Korean summit

13:05, October 19, 2009      

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South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Sunday reaffirmed the country's principle stance on the inter-Korean summit, noting that Seoul is "open" to inter-Korean talks, but would not hold any "meaningless" summit with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

"The president has repeatedly stressed that he will welcome a meeting with North Korean (DPRK) leader Kim (Jong Il ) at any time if it is for the sake of the peace of the Korean Peninsula and the future of the nation, but would not hold meeting just for the sake of meeting," Lee Dong-kwan, top secretary to the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on public relations, was quoted by Seoul's Yonhap News Agency as saying.

The president also repeatedly said that it will be "meaningless" to hold a meeting without any actual content but just out of consideration for politic situation and tactics, he added.

The official reaffirmed that the country will adhere to the long-standing principle on the inter-Korean summit, and will not do anything contrary to it.

The Cheong Wa Dae official made the remark as a clarification to a U.S. official's comment that the DPRK leader has invited South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to a summit in Pyongyang.

According to Yonhap, while briefing reporters on U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' trip to Asia, a Pentagon official said Pyongyang is seeking a summit with South Korea's president.

Another senior official at the Cheong Wa Dae also told media earlier in the day that there appears to have been a misunderstanding on the information delivered by Seoul.

He said Pyongyang has expressed similar hope when its delegation visited Seoul in August to pay respect to late former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, and also voiced its willingness to improve ties with Seoul via other channels.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak met the DPRK's delegation on Aug. 23. In response to local media's reports saying that the DPRK's delegation during the meeting conveyed Kim Jong Il's proposal on holding an inter-Korean summit, Lee Dong-kwan, then spokesman for the Cheong Wa Dae, said that there were only general discussions on the development of inter-Korean relations, and no issues related to an inter-Korean summit.

He said the government is consistent in its current DPRK policy that South Korea will give aid to the DPRK as long as the DPRK gives up its nuclear program.

"Dialogue is possible at any time and at any level, but this (the policy) says an inter-Korean summit or South-North dialogue similar to those of the past are not acceptable," he added.

Source: Xinhua
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