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U.S. Will Renew Dialogue With North Korea in Future

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2001 – The United States will renew its dialogue with North Korea sometime in the future, President Bush said following a meeting with South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung.

Bush and Kim met at the White House March 7. Bush told reporters that he was worried about North Korea keeping the terms of agreements it has made.

“I am concerned about the fact that the North Koreans are shipping weapons around the world,” Bush said. The Clinton administration had been close to signing an accord with North Korea about the communist country limiting its missile research and sales of such technology.

“Part of the problem in dealing with North Korea: There’s not very much transparency,” Bush said. “We’re not certain as to whether or not they’re keeping all terms of all agreements.”

Bush and Kim described their meeting as forthright. “President Bush has clearly expressed his strong support for our efforts to further the dialogue with North Korea,” said Kim, the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize recipient for his efforts to bring the two Koreas together. “I have assured him that as we try to advance the dialogue with North Korea, we will consult with the United States every step of the way.”

Bush said the United States and South Korea would maintain a “constant dialogue” about issues affecting Northeast Asia. “Our foreign policy will respond in a way that will reinforce the efforts of (President Kim), but at the same time … make it clear to all parties concerned that any agreement must make the (Korean) peninsula more peaceful.”

About 37,000 U.S. service members serve in South Korea. The Americans are part of the U.N. Command. The command has been in the country since North Korea invaded the south in 1950.

Last year, Kim met North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. The meeting has led to new initiatives between their countries, including building a rail link.

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Remarks by President Bush and President Kim Dae-Jung of South Korea, March 7, 2001

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