Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev concluded his overnight visit Saturday by pledging joint efforts with South Korea to consolidate peace in Korea and throughout the region.
Gorbachev, in talks with his host, President Roh Tae-woo, expressed his understanding for South Korea's plan to seek U.N. membership this year separate from North Korea but at the same time hoped the two Koreas will continue dialogue on the issue.Gorbachev and Roh held an exclusive 11/2-hour meeting at a hotel on Cheju Island off Korea's southern coast and later were joined by their top aides in an expanded meeting.
Lee Soo-jung, Roh's spokesman, said the two presidents agreed that their nations "would actively continue their concerted efforts to bring about peace in, and remove the vestiges of the Cold War from, the Korean Peninsula."
They also agreed to develop a sustained (South) Korean-Soviet relationship and to further promote regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, the spokesman said in an announcement.
Roh, in talks with Gorbachev, expressed appreciation for Soviet efforts to get North Korea to accede to the International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear safeguards treaty and accept international inspection of its nuclear facilities, Lee said.
Gorbachev explained to Roh the outcome of his visit to Japan, and Roh stated in response that the visit was significant not simply for Soviet-Japanese relations but in the cause of peace and cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, the spokesman said.
The two leaders reaffirmed their resolve to promote bilateral relations more dynamically and encourage efforts to accelerate bilateral cooperation in all areas, including trade and economic fields, science and technology, resources development, fisheries, communications and airline service, Lee said.
Following their meeting, Gorbachev and Roh met reporters briefly and took a few questions.
Gorbachev said the world is changing and the progressing relationship between South Korea and the Soviet Union was a sign of such a change sweeping the world. He hoped South and North Korea will be able to agree on how to push their reunification.
Roh said the fact that he and Gorbachev met three times in 10 months is significant in itself. He said South Korea and the Soviet Union are complementary economies with great potentiality.