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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Summit splits Korean media
South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun (L) and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Il
The leaders signed a peace declaration in Pyongyang
The North Korean media were enthusiastic about the "exciting event" of the inter-Korean summit,which produced a declaration calling for a permanent peace deal.

But media in the South, while expressing some optimism, also voiced concern that their president, Roh Moo-hyun, gave away too much ground during negotiations.

There was also concern that South Korea's leader will soon be out of office and unable to continue negotiations.

North Korean media

The full range of North Korea's state media provided extensive coverage of the summit, with Korean Central TV describing the arrival of President Roh as a "warm scene" proving that "nothing can crush our nation's will for reunification".

The party daily Rodong Sinmun asked: "Who else, aside from the respected and beloved General Kim Jong il, the peerlessly great man ... can cause such an exciting event?"

By the end of the summit, the paper carried an article dealing with the "immortal exploits performed by Kim Jong Il in his efforts to enable all Koreans to live in a reunified country".

But it also unleashed criticism of capitalism saying that "capitalist society causes deformed material life, making people corrupt and depraved".

Under capitalism, "all sorts of social vices such as immorality and corruption, fraud and swindling, and violent crimes are rampant, making people shiver in uneasiness and fear," it said.

South Korean press

The South Korean media were initially upbeat about the summit before wondering whether President Roh Moo-hyun had conceded too much ground.

An editorial in the Seoul paper Chosun Ilbo noted that President Roh has "essentially two months left in office" and the joint declaration had included "a long and expensive list of obligations that will fall on the shoulders of the next president and the South Korean public".

It said that reading what economic aid has been promised "makes one breathless".

The paper was worried about the brevity of the declaration's mention of nuclear disarmament and said the text, in calling for the establishment of a "permanent peace regime", sounded "so hollow".

The Chungang Ilbo daily said that for "this grand plan" to work, "three types of capital are needed: political, diplomatic and economic capital".

It described the declaration as "meaningful because it laid down a direction for peace and the restoration of brotherhood among people of the same blood" but said the package was "also ambitious and there are countless tasks that must be accomplished to implement it fully".

Another editorial in the paper said "damage was done" to President Roh's dignity.

"It was Kim Jong-il's turn to visit the South. Instead of showing humility, Kim acted in a way that could be interpreted as being rude by twice changing the venue", the paper said.

Dong-A Ilbo was critical of the declarations saying that a cycle of "economic aid - peace aid which is what President Roh has been emphasizing, can never be established".

But Seoul's Hankyoreh struck a more positive tone, seeing the declaration as an "historic document".

The paper said it contained "not only the future course of various fields such as the military, peace, economic cooperation, mutual exchanges, humanitarian issues and reunification, but also concrete plans to carry them out".

The national news agency, Yonhap, commented that "South Korea's president pulled off a far-reaching, concrete deal that is expected to lay the groundwork for peace and closer economic cooperation".

South Korean TV

The state-run KBS 1 TV praised the declaration as an agreement that has "advanced overall North-South relations one step further and solidified the foundation of peace and prosperity".

The semi-official MBC TV called the agreement "extensive", while the commercial SBS TV highlighted the "concrete" nature of the declaration which it said had made clear the stance of "the main parties concerned" on "ending the war."

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

Korean leaders issue peace call
04 Oct 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Outline of Korea summit statement
04 Oct 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: South Korea
11 Aug 07 |  Country profiles

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