North Korea pushes for aid deliveries

North Korea has proposed a full resumption of aid deliveries to its impoverished people following high-level talks with South Korea. The meeting came after leaders in the North pledged to dismantle its nuclear reactor.

In the wake of its pledge made on February 13 to shut down its only operating nuclear reactor, North Korea resumed talks with its Southern neighbour, sending a clear signal of a change in its position.

“I believe North Korea will reform and open up. Because if North Korea is run by sensible people, they would know there is no other possible way but reform and openness,” said Roh Moo-hyun, President of South Korea.

It was the first meeting between the Koreas at such a high level in more than 18 months.

The South Korean president stressed the importance of persistent efforts in keeping up dialogue.

“We have to keep sending signals (to the North) that their security will be guaranteed and they could get profits through reform and openness,” underscored Roh Moo-hyun.

The main focus of South Korea's efforts was on winning stronger commitments from the communist nation that would help bring sustained peace to the split Korean peninsula.

“It has come to a settled and co-operative era from a period of confrontation and hostility in the past. I think your visit is very meaningful both personally and in terms of facing changing circumstances,” said Kwon Ho Ung, Chief North Korean delegate and Senior Cabinet Councillor.