President-elect of s. Korea backs criticism of sanctions

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Tue Dec 31 03:14:18 MST 2002

Subject: S Korea rejects US pressure on DPRK

AFP (with additional material by AP). 31 and 30 December 2002. (excerpt)

SEOUL -- President-elect Roh Moo-Hyun on Tuesday reinforced South
Korea's rejection of US moves to punish North Korea with economic
sanctions over its nuclear ambitions, saying any US policy toward the
North must take into account Seoul's stance.

"It ought to be borne in mind that a failed US policy toward the North
would be a matter of life and death for South Koreans while it would not
be to US citizens," Roh told journalists.

"Therefore, any US actions (toward the North) must give priority to
South Korea's stance," Roh said. He said South Korean politicians "must
stand firm on this principle" and the Korean people must support it.

He expressed regret at "politically-motivated allegations by those who
criticize Seoul "for not following blindly US lead."

Roh echoed outgoing President Kim Dae-Jung's remarks Monday when he said
US policy of putting pressure on North Korea and isolation was doomed to

"Pressure and isolation have never been successful with communist
countries -- Cuba is one example," Kim told his cabinet, according to
remarks published by the presidential Blue House.

"We cannot go to war with North Korea and we can't go back to the Cold
War system and extreme confrontation."

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