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Seoul says it discussed Kim invite with N.K.

The South Korean government said Wednesday that the motives of its conditional invitation of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to a nuclear summit in Seoul next year, announced by President Lee Myung-bak last week, was explained to Pyongyang.

There has been working-level communication with the North about Lee’s proposal in Berlin after a joint press conference with the Danish prime minister last Thursday, a Seoul official said.

“Our motives or true intentions for inviting Kim Jong-il to the second Nuclear Security Summit have been delivered to the North,” she said.

“We expect to have more detailed discussions between the South and North whenever we have the opportunity.”

Lee said in Berlin early last week that he plans to invite Kim Jong-il to the gathering of some 50 world leaders next spring if the North “firmly agrees on denuclearization.”

Two days after Lee made the remarks during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, a North Korean committee in charge of inter-Korean relations refused the offer, calling it “defiant absurdity.”

Lee said during a joint press conference with Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen on Thursday he heard “no news” from Pyongyang on his proposal, adding that he did not expect to hear any soon.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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