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S.Korea's Roh ready to meet North's Kim

May 10, 2006 at 3:44 AM

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia, May 10 (UPI) -- South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has repeated his readiness to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il "anytime, anywhere" for talks "on any issues."

Roh, in Mongolia for a three-day visit, Tuesday reiterated that South Koreans do not desire the collapse of the North Korean regime and hope for the gradual co-prosperity of the two Koreas on a more stable foundation, The Korea Times reported.

"We have left the door wide open for the North," he said in a meeting with South Korean residents in Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar. "I'm ready for talks anytime, anywhere on any issues. Let's just get together and have talks."

Roh admitted it is difficult for Seoul to actively pursue its engagement policy toward the North, while under pressure from the United States and Japan, which have taken a tough stance against North Korea on the issues of nuclear energy and abductions.

However, he said he hopes for a breakthrough when his predecessor, Kim Dae-jung, visits the North next month. As president, Kim Dae-jung held the first-ever summit with Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang in June 2000.

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