Russia can help Korean dialogue
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday Russia could play a "useful" role in nudging North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il into a second peninsular summit and back to talks with Washington. Powell said the US was eager to move forward with a dialogue with North Korea.
"Put all the issues on the table that you wish to and we'll talk about anything. So no preconditions and we're prepared to meet any time and any place; we're ready to go now," Powell said. As Powell flew into Seoul from Vietnam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was still trundling across Siberia, after embarking on a surprise train trip to Moscow on Thursday.
Also this week Kim Jong-Il insisted the Stalinist state's missile development program was "purely peaceful" and should not justify Washington's missile defense shield plans, in an interview released Friday. "Our missile program is of purely peaceful nature. It threatens nobody. Implementing the peaceful missile programme is an exercise of our legitimate sovereign right," Kim said in a rare interview, conducted by Russia's Itar-Tass news agency and released by the North Korean state news agency. "The world knows that we are not threatening the United States, but that the United States is constantly threatening us by occupying a half of our country by force of arms," Kim said in the interview held Tuesday in Pyongyang.
"The United States' clamour about the 'missile threat' from our country is totally unfounded. It is nothing but a lie to hide its intention to dominate other countries," the North Korean leader said. Kim claimed the Pyongyang regime's own missile programme was being unfairly used by Washington to justify its National Missile Defense plan for which the United States was trying to alter the anti-ballistic missile treaty it concluded with Russia. "We support the Russian standpoint for maintaining strategic stability through the ABM treaty," Kim said. Any prospect on the Stalinist state normalizing relations with the United States or Japan depended on the standpoints of Washington and Tokyo, Kim said, adding that the Bush administration had in vain revived a hard line policy of isolation towards Pyongyang. "Our invariable standpoint is to approach goodwill with goodwill and respond to a hard line with a super hard line," Kim said.
source: WorldNews, July 27, 2001