Bush Writes First Letter to Kim Jong-ilSphere: Related Content
U.S. President George W. Bush has sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il urging him to declare all his country's nuclear programs. It was the first time Bush directly communicated with the reclusive North Korean leader, although his predecessor Bill Clinton sent three direct letters to the North Korean leader while in office.
The official Korea Central News Agency said the U.S. chief negotiator in six-nation talks Christopher Hill delivered Bush's letter to North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun on Wednesday. The White House said Bush in the letter “stressed the need for North Korea to come forward with a full and complete declaration of their nuclear programs, as called for in the September 2005 six-party agreement.” Bush also sent letters to the heads of the four other nations in the nuclear talks.
A South Korean diplomat speculated the letter aimed at underscoring the U.S.’ willingness to improve relations with the North if Pyongyang keeps its denuclearization promises under a series of six-party agreements. He added that by announcing that it has received the letter, the North “expressed its commitment to the six-party talks, suggesting that it is seriously considering Washington's request.”
A researcher with a South Korean state-run think tank said if the North refuses to fully declare its nuclear activities after Bush's letter, the U.S. could use it as a reason to pressure North Korea.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Song Min-soon on Thursday said persuading North Korea to reveal its all its nuclear activities is “difficult”, adding that efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue are moving “from smooth to bumpy roads.”
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