Kim Jong-il invites Bush to Pyongyang?
Kim Jong-il orders high-level meeting with US
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
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
Pyongyang said that US envoy Christopher Hill was
welcome to visit and that no conditions would be
"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
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
"This is different from what the United States has
been saying [in past years]," he said.