Carter meets DPRK official during peace bid

Updated: 2011-04-28 07:58

(China Daily)

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 Carter meets DPRK official during peace bid

Left to right: Former Irish president Mary Robinson, former US president Jimmy Carter, President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of DPRK, Kim Yong-nam, former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlen Brundtland and former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, pose for photographs in Pyongyang on Wednesday. Kcna Via Reuters

SEOUL, Republic of Korea - Former US president Jimmy Carter and three other former world leaders met President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong-nam at his office in the legislature in Pyongyang on Wednesday, the official news agency KCNA reported.

Carter delivered gifts for DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, KCNA said, but there was no mention of whether the visitors would get their hoped-for meeting with Kim.

Carter, accompanied by former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlen Brundtland and former Irish president Mary Robinson, arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday morning aboard a private jet for a three-day visit.

His trip was aimed at easing regional tensions and pushing nuclear disarmament.

Carter is scheduled to fly to the Republic of Korea (ROK) on Thursday and hold a news conference.

They say they want to reduce high tensions on the divided peninsula, assess the DPRK's food shortages and help revive the Six-Party Talks. Efforts to improve relations are deadlocked, with the DPRK refusing to accept blame for two deadly border incidents last year.

The Six-Party Talks have not been held since December 2008, and in May 2009 Pyongyang staged its second nuclear weapons test. In November it disclosed a uranium enrichment plant, a potential second way to build atomic weapons.

China has been pushing to restart the Six-Party Talks that it chairs, but the ROK and the US say the DPRK must first mend cross-border relations.

A DPRK patrol boat briefly crossed a tense maritime border with the ROK late on Tuesday before retreating when the ROK navy fired warning shots, the military said on Wednesday.

A ROK naval vessel fired eight warning shots after broadcasting warnings when the DPRK vessel crossed 700 meters south of the disputed Northern Limit Line off the west coast, a Joint Chiefs of Staff officer said.

The ROK military officer said there had been no other unusual movements by the DPRK military and it was not clear what may have triggered Tuesday's incident.


(China Daily 04/28/2011 page12)


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