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Clinton, Kim Agree To Cooperate In North-South Summit

June 8, 2000

TOKYO (Nikkei)--U.S. President Bill Clinton and South Korean President Kim Dae-jung confirmed on Thursday evening that the U.S. and South Korea, involving Japan, will closely cooperate to achieve success in the summit between North and South Korea and stability in the Korean peninsula. The summit between the two Koreas starts in Pyongyang on Monday.

Clinton and Kim met at a Tokyo hotel during a visit to Japan to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi.

Kim said the South-North summit will be an important turning point in the Korean peninsula, similar in impact to President Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972. Clinton said that the summit will be a historic event that will have an impact on peace in Northeast Asia.

Kim said that he will tell the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il that cooperation with the U.S. and Japan is important in strengthening the relationship between the two Koreas and achieving peace in the peninsula. At the same time, he said he does not expect major progress from the summit alone. He, instead, stressed that the priority in the upcoming summit is laying the groundwork for establishing trust with the North Korean leader.

Clinton said that Kim will play an important role in persuading Pyongyang to participate in international society. He added that the U.S. will not spare any assistance to improve the relations between the two Koreas.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Friday morning edition)

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.