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|Sunday, June 18, 2000, updated at 10:57(GMT+8)|
President Lauds Korean SummitPresident Jiang Zemin said on June 16 that he was elated by the successful inter-Korean summit, which ended Thursday.
Jiang made the remarks in letters to the leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK).
In his letter to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, Jiang said the summit and its results reflect the Korean people's long-cherished wish for national reunification.
"The summit is the result of the decision made by the two leaders in their fundamental national interests and with the vision and wisdom of statesmen," said Jiang.
He reiterated China's consistent opinion that the situation on the Korean Peninsula should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations.
Jiang also told the DPRK leader that China will continue to contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability on the peninsula.
Hailing the summit as "a major event of historical significance," Jiang, in his letter to the ROK President Kim Dae-jung, said the summit produced concrete achievements and made a valuable contribution to peace and stability on the peninsula.
Jiang expressed the belief that the summit is a good beginning for better mutual understanding and trust as well as deepened co-operation between the two sides.
This will lead to the eventual realization of independent and peaceful reunification of the peninsula, he said.
The DPRK and the ROK reached a five-point consensus on major issues such as independent reunification and released a joint declaration on Wednesday.
On June 16, the two sides embarked on a new era of reconciliation with small but significant gestures.
The North allowed a southern fishing boat that had strayed across the disputed Yellow Sea border to sail back to its home port at Paengnyongdo Island with its two crew members.
A year ago, naval vessels of DPRK and ROK clashed on the Yellow Sea border in their worst naval firefight since the 1950-53 Korean War.
Another Cold War fixture that was the highlight of any trip to Korea's Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) passed into history when Seoul turned off its propaganda speakers.
For decades, public address systems on both sides of the 4-kilometre-wide no-man's land that cuts a 242 kilometre swath across the Korean Peninsula have blasted insults and pleas for soldiers to defect.
ROK's joint chiefs of staff announced the broadcasts would be halted after the giant loudspeakers mounted on hills on the northern side of the DMZ went silent just before the historic first summit this week.
ROK's President Kim Dae-jung, basking in the acclaim of global leaders and his own people, ordered his cabinet to find ways of implementing a summit accord with the DPRK's Kim Jong-il that would rebuild its economy.
Kim said the Unification minister should be in charge of preparing for reunions of families torn apart when the Korean War broke out 50 years ago. The reunions are set to take place around August 15, when both countries mark the liberation of Korea from Japanese occupation at the end of World War II.
He told other ministers to introduce detailed projects for DPRK and implement them.
An early priority for the president is to restore the 25-kilometre rail link between the two countries, severed at the start of the Korean War in 1950.
When restored, the line would link the strategic peninsula to the Asian mainland and Europe. Kim called it "a silk road in the new millennium."
The two leaders made considerable headway on a reunification proposal, Kim said.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he "very much" welcomes the joint declaration issued at the conclusion of the historic Korean summit
Annan congratulates the two leaders for the vision and statesmanship they have demonstrated.
Moscow hailed the summit between the top leaders of the North and South of the Korean Peninsula as "a big success," saying that it will do its utmost to help settle the Korean problem and promote dialogue.
Describing the summit as "the start of a dialogue between Pyongyang and Seoul" and "a very positive step," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov told reporters in Moscow that Russia is "optimistic" about the agreements reached at the meeting. Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini expressed his delight at the progress of the summit. Dini said that the Korean talks had "exceeded every possible expectation we could have hoped for."
Egyptian Foreign Ministry Saturday also welcomed the positive outcome of the first summit between the two leaders.
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