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Bush, Roh Call For NKorea Peace And Reunification

US President George W. Bush (L) shake hands with his South Korean counterpart Roh Moo-hyun at a summit meeting in Gyeongju, southeast of Seoul, 17 November 2005. Bush met Roh in the ancient Korean capital of Gyeongju ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum summit. AFP photo.

Gyeongju, South Korea (AFP) Nov 17, 2005
US President George W. Bush and his South Korean counterpart Roh Moo-Hyun said Thursday they were committed to eventual peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula.

North and South Korea have been technically at war ever since the 1950-1953 Korean War and have yet to replace the armistice that ended the conflict with a proper peace treaty.

"The two leaders agreed that reducing the military threat on the Korean Peninsula and moving from the current armistice mechanism to a peace mechanism would contribute to full reconciliation and peaceful reunification on the Korean Peninsula," said a joint statement from Bush and Roh after their summit here.

Calls for a formal peace treaty have been made before by both North and South Korea. Bush and Roh said Thursday that eventual treaty talks should take place "in a forum separate from the six-party (nuclear) talks".

Their joint statement was issued after the two leaders met ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the South Korean port city of Busan.

Ahead of the fourth round of six-party talks which began in July, North Korea suggested that Washington and Pyongyang should replace the armistice with a peace mechanism.

A peace mechanism on the Korean peninsula would lead to an end to hostility between the two sides, which would in turn "automatically result in the denuclearization of the peninsula," it said.

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China, North Korea, Iran Pose 'Greatest Danger' To US: Poll
Washington (AFP) Nov 17, 2005
China, North Korea and Iran are seen by American opinion leaders as posing the "greatest danger" to the United States, a survey showed last Thursday.

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