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Kim Jong-il invites Bush to Pyongyang?

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2005/09/24/2003272983 Kim Jong-il orders high-level meeting with US officials LET S TALK TURKEY: The reclusive
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 25, 2005
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      http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2005/09/24/2003272983

      Kim Jong-il orders high-level meeting with US
      officials

      LET'S TALK TURKEY: The reclusive North Korean dictator
      has reportedly instructed aides to invite US President
      George W. Bush to visit Pyongyang

      AP , SEOUL
      Saturday, Sep 24, 2005,Page 5

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      North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has ordered his
      officials to arrange a meeting with a high-ranking US
      official, possibly with President George W. Bush, a
      news report said yesterday.

      Kim told his Foreign Ministry to make arrangements for
      a visit to the North by a prominent US figure,
      personally mentioning Bush, former President George
      H.W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as
      possible visitors, South Korea's Yonhap news agency
      reported, citing an anonymous source familiar with
      North Korean affairs.

      Officials at South Korea's Unification Ministry and
      Foreign Ministry couldn't confirm the report.

      The latest round of international talks on North
      Korea's nuclear program in Beijing produced a landmark
      accord Monday where Pyongyang agreed to abandon its
      nuclear program in exchange for economic aid, security
      assurances and improved ties with the US.

      After the talks, chief US negotiator Christopher Hill
      said he was willing to visit North Korea to keep
      channels of communication open, but many factors would
      determine whether such a visit could be made.

      North Korea has long tried to engage the US in
      bilateral talks, believing such meetings would boost
      its international status and help it win bigger
      concessions at the nuclear talks also involving China,
      Japan, Russia and South Korea.

      In October 2000, then-US Secretary of State Madeleine
      Albright visited Pyongyang and met the North Korean
      leader.

      Pyongyang said that US envoy Christopher Hill was
      welcome to visit and that no conditions would be
      attached.

      "If Christopher Hill is willing to visit my country
      with an intention of resolving the nuclear issue, then
      we would always welcome him," North Korea's Deputy
      Foreign Minister Choe Su-hon told a group of
      reporters, including China's Xinhua news agency.

      "There will be no condition if he is willing to come
      to my country with a view to resolving the nuclear
      issue and other issues of his concern," he said at the
      North Korean mission to the UN in New York.

      On Tuesday the Stalinist nation warned it would not
      dismantle its nuclear weapons until the US delivered
      light-water reactors to allow it to generate power,
      casting doubt on its commitments.

      Washington says the reactors would be discussed only
      after North Korea abandons its nuclear weapons in a
      verifiable manner.

      Despite the rhetoric, Choe said his government had
      noticed that the US attitude towards North Korea had
      changed recently, highlighted by the joint statement
      in which the US pledged to recognize North Korea's
      sovereignty.

      "This is different from what the United States has
      been saying [in past years]," he said.
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