President Roh Tae Woo of South Korea called today for a summit meeting with the president of North Korea and adoption of a nonaggression pact between the two nations.
“We must do everything possible to hasten the coming of the springtime for peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula,” Roh said.
In the first address by a Korean leader to the United Nations, Roh pledged that “the Republic of Korea will never use force first against the North.”
The North Koreans have expressed willingness to hold a summit, but they say the 42,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea must first withdraw.
Roh proposed that he and President Kim Il Sung of North Korea meet “as soon as possible” to “resolve all the problems raised by either or both sides with regard to disarmament, arms control and other military matters.”
Roh said South Korea was trying to improve relations with China, the Soviet Union and Eastern European nations friendly to Communist North Korea.
He urged South Korea’s allies to “contribute to the progress and opening of North Korea by engaging Pyongyang in expanding relations.”
He proposed a “consultative conference for peace” among the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Japan and the two Koreas “to lay a solid foundation for durable peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia.”
“It is my belief that . . . without cooperation among the area’s nations, there cannot commence an era of Pacific prosperity,” Roh said.
He said improved relations and trust between the two Koreas could ultimately lead to reunification of the Korean Peninsula, which has been partitioned since 1948.