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Backgrounder: 7-year wait for inter-Korean summit

Source: | 10-05-2007 09:50

The second inter-Korean summit has been seven years in the making. It's hoped the meeting will help pave the way for normalized relations between the DPRK and South Korea.

Early in 2000, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il met with his South Korean counterpart, president Kim Dae-jung.

This was the first official meeting between the two countries. It ushered in a new era of reconciliation marked by joint economic projects and family reunions.

But the pace of reunification slowed down because of the nuclear crisis that erupted on the Korean Peninsula.

A turn for the better appeared in February of this year, during the six-party talks held in Beijing. The DPRK agreed to give up its nuclear program if South Korea and other countries provided fuel and aid to the DPRK.

In May, the inter-Korean railway finished its test run-- the first cross-border run in 56 years.

As the situation on the Korean Peninsula began to improve, both sides agreed that it was time for the second summit meeting.

For South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, the political situation in his country could be one of the contributing factors to holding the meeting.

As the summit comes close to South Korea's presidential election, analysts say the timing of the summit is perfect to garner support for Roh's ruling camp.

It is hoped that the summit will finally bring peace, stability and prosperity to the Korean Peninsula.


Editor:Du Xiaodan