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Wednesday, 6 June, 2001, 09:02 GMT 10:02 UK
S Korea calls for new summit
South Korean President Kim Dae-jung
President Kim: Wants follow-up summit
By Caroline Gluck in Seoul

The South Korean President Kim Dae-jung has again urged the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to clarify when he will make a return visit to Seoul, fulfilling a promise to take part in a second summit.

The president's comments were made as South Koreans paid homage to soldiers killed in action as the country marked Memorial Day.

His speech came a week before the first anniversary of the historic inter-Korean summit, in which the two Korean leaders promised to work towards a new era of peace on the peninsula.

Technically the two countries still remain at war as their three-year conflict ended in 1953 without a permanent peace treaty.

Border
The Korean border is one of the last frontiers of the Cold War

President Kim said North Korea had demonstrated its willingness to observe a joint declaration signed between the country's two leaders a year ago in which they pledged to end half a century of Cold War hostilities and move towards a new era of peace.

President Kim also stressed that peace on the peninsula depended not only on improved inter-Korean relations, but better ties between the Communist North and the United States.

The historic inter-Korean summit a year ago saw a flurry of activities, including meetings between hundreds of separated families, cultural and economic links.

Stalled dialogue

But exchanges between the two countries are now at a standstill.

North Korea has said that stalled dialogue and a second summit will not go ahead until Washington completes its policy review of the North.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il says the North will not begin a second summit until Washington completes its policy review

It has also said talks would not be resumed if the US sets conditions - a reference to Washington's warning that progress in bilateral relations would be blocked if the North lifted a moratorium on missile launches.

This week North Korea also appears to have been testing the South's patience, after several northern ships entered South Korean waters for three days running.

The government's response in Seoul has been conciliatory - a message that it will not be diverted from its policy of engaging the North.

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See also:

08 Mar 01 | Asia-Pacific
Seoul's fears over Bush
08 Mar 01 | Asia-Pacific
Bush rules out North Korea talks
13 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Kim Dae-jung: Korean peacemaker
22 Feb 01 | Asia-Pacific
N Korea threatens end to missile deal
17 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
S Korea extends missile range
15 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Summer months melt Korean ice
23 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Pyongyang reaches out
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