S. Korean President Says Peace, Not Bombs, Will Dominate Summit

Kurt Achin

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has given his clearest indication of Seoul's agenda for a summit with North Korea next month. He says the talks will not emphasize the nuclear issue, but may seek a declaration of peace as a first step toward formally ending the Korean War. VOA's Kurt Achin has more from Jeju, South Korea.

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun told reporters ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programs will not be his top priority when he sits down with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il next month.

Roh says a formal declaration ending the 1950s Korean War and establishing a peace treaty are the main agenda items of the planned talks.

North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950. Three years of fighting were halted by an armistice, but in legal terms the two countries remain at war.

Relations thawed considerably when the two Koreas held their first and only summit in 2000. But North Korea has since declared itself a nuclear-weapons state and conducted a nuclear test.

South Korea participates in multi-national talks with North Korea aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons capabilities. China, Russia, the United States, and Japan are also involved, and another session of the talks is expected this month in Beijing.

Mr. Roh says it is those talks, not the summit between North and South Korea that should focus on the nuclear issue.

He says objectively speaking, the nuclear issue is being resolved, and the issue of peace is most important.

The Roh administration pursues a policy of engagement with North Korea that has transferred billions of dollars of aid and investment to the Pyongyang government.

Critics say it is the policy's leniency that has not only failed to prevent Pyongyang's nuclear test, but also makes it easier for North Korea to refuse giving up nuclear weapons in the future.

Experts say too many legal ambiguities exist for North and South Korea to formally end the Korean War by acting alone.

Following the North's 1950 invasion, the United States led a U.N. coalition that repelled northern forces back to the current inter-Korean boundary.

About 28,000 U.S. troops remain in the South to deter a repeat invasion.

Although China never formally declared itself a combatant in the war, hundreds of thousands of so-called Chinese "volunteer forces" fought alongside North Korean soldiers. The 1953 armistice was signed by North Korea and the United States, in its role as U.N. Commander. South Korea refused to sign.

Advisors and political allies of President Roh favor what has come to be known as the "two plus two" model for resolving the conflict. In that model, North and South Korea would make a declaration between themselves, and would then later be backed up in some way by the United States and China.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs